Chancellor’s Summer Statement – Key Points

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday made his Summer Statement in the House of Commons. Announcements in his statement are intended to quickly restart the economy.

On jobs, his three point plan is based on supporting those seeking employment, creating new employment opportunities and protecting existing jobs. Other measures announced included a much-welcomed reduction in VAT for hospitality and tourism sectors, cuts in Stamp Duty Land Tax, discount vouchers for eating out in August and home improvement grants aimed at improving energy efficiency.

Specific detail on some of the measures will not be published until next month, but for now we can share the following:

1. Job Retention Bonus: grant of £1,000 paid to employers for each staff member taken off furlough and still employed in January 2021. Employees must be paid at least £520 per month on average between November 2020 and January 2021, We await clarification on whether the grant applies to all employees who have been placed on furlough at any time during the scheme or if there will be certain parameters set;

2. VAT cut for hospitality sector to 5%: reduction from 20% to 5% for hospitality sector from Wednesday 15th July until 12th January 2021;

3. Stamp duty land tax: temporary increase to £500K (from current £125K) for 0% threshold for all residential home purchases to 31 March 2021 (effective immediately);

4. “Eat out to help out” vouchers: 50% off vouchers for diners eating in participating restaurants Monday to Wednesday (up to max discount of £10 per head) for the month of August 2020;

5. Home improvement grants: up to £5,000 support for improvements which deliver energy efficiency (up to £10,000 support for low income families); we await further detail on how this will apply to NI.

Whilst many of the measures have been broadly welcomed, we do await the finer detail on how the measures will apply and how the support shall be claimed. We will continue to keep you updated in future bulletins.

Posted on July 9, 2020