Rishi Sunak has delivered a £30bn mini-budget full of measures to try and stop the looming economic crisis.
The Chancellor announced a £2 billion emergency package of support to help prevent youth unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The Chancellor announced a stamp duty holiday to temporarily exempt the tax on the first £500,000 of homes purchased in England and Northern Ireland in an effort to revive the housing market.
And he unexpectedly announced that all Brits will be able to dine out with a 50% discount on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August, up to a saving value of £10.
Mr Sunak is largely relying on borrowing to fund his package but the Government will eventually need to act to control the public finances.
Earlier Boris Johnson refused to apologise at PMQs today for remarks that pointed the blame for the coronavirus care home crisis at hard-working staff.
Follow it as it happened – plus all the reaction – in our blog below
Three glaring omissions from Rishi Sunak’s mini Budget – young mums, pensions and renters
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled his plan to get Britain working again – but it’s full of holes.
He cut taxes for home buyers, offered £5,000 grants for home improvements and handed families restaurant discounts to get people eating out again.
There were also £1,000 “incentives” for bosses taking workers back from furlough and a whole suite of actions to get young people into work.
For the full story, click here
What Rishi Sunak announced in his mini-budget – and what was missing
Rishi Sunak has unveiled at £30billion package to protect jobs and boost the Covid-ravaged economy.
It included a ‘kickstart’ scheme to get young people into work and a scheme to protect the jobs of people returning from furlough.
And there was a discount offer for meals out – as well as a VAT cut aimed at takeaways and attractions.
The Chancellor’s statement included some eye-catching initiatives but are they enough given the scale of the crisis?
For the full story, click here
Mini-budget ‘fails to excite traders’
The FTSE 100 drifted lower as the Chancellor’s summer statement failed to excite traders. Positive sentiment in the US also failed to drag the European indices higher as it weighed down by early caution in the Asian markets.
London’s top flight closed 33.74 points lower at 6,156.16p at the end of trading on Wednesday.
Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: “Rishi Sunak’s summer statement didn’t end up doing much for the FTSE, nor did a positive open for the Dow Jones.
“The mini-budget wasn’t robust enough to distract European investors from the continued acceleration of global Covid-19 cases, the return to lockdown in Melbourne, and what this will all mean for the pace of any economic recovery.”
Chancellor under fire for failing to support freelancers
Workers excluded from the Government’s coronavirus support have expressed anger at Rishi Sunak’s failure to help them.
Campaigners believe as many as three million freelance and self-employed workers have been unable to claim on the Government’s support schemes due to various restrictions.
Dave Leyland, a business development manager in the architectural facade industry, said he and his family had been “absolutely destroyed by the way we are being treated”.
The 59-year-old from Denton, Greater Manchester, told the PA news agency he was ineligible either for the furlough scheme or the Self Employment Income Support Scheme due to recent changes in his work situation, and was unable to even claim universal credit as his wife receives the state pension.
“My confidence levels right now are extremely shot to pieces,” said Mr Leyland, who had until recently been working for 43 years.”
Tory adds to voices of concern over national debt
Tory Richard Fuller (North East Bedfordshire) echoed Mr Javid’s comments about the need “to look at ways in which the overall debt as a burden on the GDP of the country can be brought under control”.
Responding Mr Sunak said: “For me, this is not just a question of economics, it is a question of values and we demonstrate those through the actions that we take and the people that we prioritise.
“But he is also right to highlight the importance of sustainability and our public finances, something that he knows I very passionately care about and have spoken about repeatedly from these benches and he can rest assured that as we come to the autumn, we will set our public finances on a path back to sustainability.”
Sunak vows he will address national debt
Responding to Mr Javid’s concerns over the national debt, Mr Sunak replied: “I thank (him) for his kind support and also his advice and he is of course absolutely right and I hope he was heartened by what he heard me say in the statement about the importance of returning in the medium term our public finances to a sustainable footing.
“We can and we will do exactly that and he was right to highlight the sensitivity of our debt to interest rates, which was why he was right to introduce into our fiscal framework the notion of an interest service rule, which is something that I will look at keenly in the coming months.”
Javid calls on Chancellor to tackle UK’s national debt
Former Chancellor Sajid Javid has advised his successor to take steps to get the UK’s national debt under control.
The Conservative MP suggested Rishi Sunak should set out new fiscal rules at the autumn budget which help reduce national debt as a proportion of national income by 2024.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Javid said: “Can I commend (his) statement and the actions he has taken to ensure that we get the strongest possible recovery as we can and he’s been absolutely right thus far to spend what it takes, something he set out very clearly back in March.
“But I know that he will be acutely aware that interest rates will not stay low forever and eventually we will need to bring back our national debt under control in order to sustain a recovery and continue to create jobs and to keep taxes low.
“So can I encourage (him) in his autumn budget, to set out new fiscal rules with an aim of getting our national debt down as a proportion of our national income by the end of this Parliament.”
Every person in UK to get 50% off discount at thousands of pubs and restaurants
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said every single member of the public will be able to eat out for half the price as a new voucher initiative launches to protect the hospitality sector.
Speaking during the mini-Budget, he said everyone will be given an ‘eat out to help out’ discount that will be valid throughout August to help pump cash back into the struggling high street.
“To encourage people to safely return to eating out at restaurants, the Government’s new eat out to help out discount scheme will provide a 50% reduction for sit-down meals from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020,” the Chancellor revealed during Wednesday’s mini-Budget.
Government ‘has promised to do whatever it takes’ – Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said the Government promised to do “whatever it takes” to protect businesses and jobs and “meant it”.
Opening a general debate on the economy, Mr Barclay told MPs: “All in all, the United Kingdom’s economic response to Covid is one of the most comprehensive and generous of any government in the world.”
He added: “These interventions have come at a considerable cost to the public finances but I have no doubt that they were the right thing to do.
“The Bank of England, the OBR and other external forecasters have all highlighted that the cost to the economy would have been significantly higher were it not for the swift and decisive action that the Government has taken.
“Nevertheless, the pandemic has caused a profound shock to both the national and global economy, the consequences of which will be felt by businesses and individuals for some time to come.”
Stamp duty holiday: How typical savings for home buyers vary around Englad
With wide variations in house prices, the average savings that home buyers in England can typically expect to make from the stamp duty holiday vary from hundreds of pounds to as much as £15,000, according to calculations from Rightmove. The website analysed average asking prices across the country in June to calculate the average saving that a buyer might expect to make from the stamp duty “nil rate” band being raised temporarily to £500,000. Here are Rightmove’s estimates for the amounts that buyers could typically save, depending on where they live:
- North East, £646
- Yorkshire and the Humber, £1,550
- North West, £1,638
- East Midlands, £2,222
- West Midlands, £2,262
- South West, £6,100
- East of England, £8,153
- South East, £10,980
- London, £15,000
‘Deeply disappointing for Chancellor not to address deep scars on children’
It is “deeply disappointing” that the Chancellor did not address the “deep scars” inflicted on children by lockdown and school closures as he announced more coronavirus measures, a charity said.
Plans announced by Rishi Sunak will “do nothing” to help the two-thirds of children living in poverty with at least one parent in work, the Children’s Society said.
Without a comprehensive package of support, children’s life chances “could be seriously damaged” and the economy will also suffer harm in the long-term, it believes.
Chief executive Mark Russell welcomed the plans to help young people into work and said these measures must include additional support for care leavers.
“However, it was deeply disappointing to see so little in the Chancellor’s plans to address the deep scars lockdown and school closures have inflicted on children’s happiness and mental health.
“This crisis has left many children at greater risk, with abuse and sexual and criminal exploitation more likely to be hidden from view, while others have struggled with isolation and been left at greater risk of the ravages of poverty with some parents sadly losing work.”
Martin Lewis says ‘bogoff’ Rishi Sunak is ‘stealing his clothes’ with Mini-Budget plan
Money saving expert Martin Lewis has labelled Rishi Sunak the “bogoff Chancellor” after he announced a buy-one-get-one-free 50% off restaurant deal in Wednesday’s Mini-Budget.
The new scheme will let families get their meals at half price for a month in an effort to support restaurants, cafés and pubs in the wake of the coronavirus.
The new Eat Out to Help Out scheme gives people 50% off their food and (non-alcoholic) drinks, up to the value of £10 discount a head – and can be used unlimited on any Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in August in participating outlets.
How to get a 50% off food discount – available to all Brits at restaurants and pubs
Every single member of the public will be able to eat out for half the price in August, in a move that will give the hospitality sector – and millions of workers – a much needed boost.
Households will be able to dine out on a discount as part of a new ‘eat out to help out’ initiative unveiled in today’s mini-Budget.
It will be valid at 129,000 cafés, restaurants and pubs across the UK and equate to 50% off, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head.
Consumers ‘must take action to help boost green homes pledge’
Steven Day, Co-founder of Pure Planet, said: “Rishi Sunak should be applauded for making a commitment to green homes and green living.
“This is a much-needed policy for those wanting to take the good habits of lockdown into the future, which includes being mindful of the energy they use and where it’s from.
“We know from speaking to our Members that green improvements to their homes, including low-energy boilers and ground-source heating, are becoming more desirable as our knowledge of how we might avert climate change expands.
“It is the simple, obvious steps people can take that will make a huge difference so I hope people take advantage of these green concessions.
“We’d also urge people to combine this with making a switch to renewable energy. Already, families can save 3.7 tonnes of CO2 a year, today, by choosing 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon offset gas with Pure Planet, which is over £300 cheaper than polluting energy offered by the Big Six energy firms.”
Government ‘misses chance to put ending child poverty at heart of economic recovery’
Judith Cavanagh, Coordinator for the End Child Poverty coalition said:
‘“We are disappointed that the Chancellor did not announce any improvements to social security payments, which would benefit families and their local businesses and communities.
“He’s missed the chance to kickstart the fight to end child poverty in the UK and we urge him to make this a priority in the autumn budget.
“We cannot continue to watch families, many already cut adrift before the pandemic, struggle to meet the basic needs of their children.
“We cannot continue to allow children to grow up with the shame and indignity of having to rely on foodbanks and holiday food voucher schemes.”
Massive looming bill for taxpayers due to coronavirus stimulus
The Chancellor’s latest £30 billion package of emergency measures has raised fears over a mammoth looming bill for taxpayers as experts also warned it may not be enough to boost the battered economy.
Rishi Sunak insisted he will still get the nation’s finances on a sustainable footing in the medium-term, but the Treasury admitted emergency actions have already come at a “significant fiscal cost”.
The new Jobs Retention Bonus alone will cost the Government up to £9.4 billion, with the VAT cut adding another £4.1 billion, the stamp duty cut an extra £3.8 billion and the eating out discount scheme £500 million.
Mr Sunak’s latest round of coronavirus emergency measures add to the near-£160 billion plan already unveiled since March.
9/10 people getting on property ladder will not need to pay stamp tax
Nearly nine in 10 people getting on or moving up the property ladder where stamp duty applies will not need to pay the tax at all while a temporary holiday applies.
From July 15 until March 31 2021, buyers will pay no stamp duty on the first £500,000 of their purchase when they move home.
The measure, which temporarily increases the “nil rate” band of stamp duty from £125,000 to £500,000, will reduce the average stamp duty bill for a main home from £4,500 to zero.
Buyers can potentially save up to £15,000. Property experts said the step could encourage some “missing movers” back to the market.
But it was also suggested that some sellers may now be tempted to put their asking prices up due to the tax savings that buyers will be making. Announcing the move, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Nearly nine out of 10 people buying a main home this year will pay no stamp duty at all.”
Winners and losers of the Budget – free vouchers, stamp duty cut and furlough latest
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a recovery package to help protect millions of jobs and businesses following the coronavirus crisis.
New support measures will include a £2billion pledge to offer paid work experience to under-25s who are facing long-term unemployment.
The scheme comes as Labour called for a focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs” in today’s mini-Budget, amid fears 4million people could be made redundant in the coming months.
No, you can’t use the government’s eat out voucher for half price booze
The government’s ‘eat out’ voucher can’t be used for half-price booze, we are sorry to report.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 50% off voucher to be used for meals out in August, to help pump cash back into the struggling high street.
It will be valid at 130,000 cafés, restaurants and pubs across the UK and equate to 50% off, up to a max discount of £10 per head.
Parents ‘are not eating out – they’re barely eating’
SNP economic spokeswoman Alison Thewliss said of the Government’s “eat out to help out” scheme that some families were “barely eating” due to poverty.
She told the Commons: “Now is the time to strengthen measures to reverse rising child poverty, including a £20 per week increase in the child element of Universal Credit and child tax credits.
“This will help families put food on the table and clothes on children’s backs at a time when many are struggling.
“These parents are not eating out, some of these parents are barely eating.”
Is Chancellor worried about high levels of corporate debt?
Mel Stride, Tory chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, asked whether the Chancellor was worried about the levels of corporate debt that may have built up during the lockdown.
He said: “We look to business to grow the jobs of the future and yet what we do know is there will be many hundreds and thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises who will emerge through this crisis saddled with significant amounts of corporate debt.
“And we will look to them at that moment to investing in jobs and growth rather than being concerned about deleveraging and shoring up their balance sheets.”
Responding, Rishi Sunak said: “The good thing coming into this, crisis levels of corporate indebtedness in the UK were the lowest they’ve been in around a decade and rank very favourably compared to most OECD countries. “But he is right that we want to make sure that is not a drag on our recovery.”
Government ‘unashamedly’ chose to provide cash support over targeted approach – Sunak
Rishi Sunak said the Government “unashamedly” chose to provide cash support to businesses over having a targeted approach.
Mr Sunak said: “She has to choose. It can’t be that you can develop significant interventions to provide liquidity and cash support to businesses at scale and at speed whilst at the same time having an incredibly targeted approach, imposing conditions on individual businesses.
“You have to choose one or the other. We, unashamedly, chose the former.
“The speed of what was happening to our economy, the scale that it was happening, demanded an approach that required us to take a broad brush approach and that was the way we could get help to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
“But where individual businesses come to the tax payer and require bespoke support then it is right that we impose conditions on those businesses and I have been very clear that that is what I would do, and indeed, that is what we have done.”
Mini-Budget 2020 in full – Rishi Sunak’s £30bn jobs announcement at a glance
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a “jobs, jobs, jobs” package worth up to £30bn to help the UK in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The top Tory admitted the fight for the economy is only just starting as he gave a statement to Parliament today.
Stamp Duty is slashed, everyone will get a restaurant discount in August, and homeowners will get £5,000 vouchers to make their properties greener.
End ‘poverty pay’ of social care workers – Labour
Anneliese Dodds called for an end to the “poverty pay” of social care workers. Ms Dodds said: “And rather than the promise that our NHS and social care services would get whatever they needed this winter to weather a second potential wave, those words were conspicuously absent from the Chancellor’s speech just now.
“Now politicians in this House have gone out on our door steps to clap key workers while the lowest paid have struggled to keep a roof over their heads.
“We must have a new settlement for the future and end the poverty pay for our social care workers and those who clean our hospitals and deliver our groceries.
“A recognition of the value of the work of those who have been taken for granted for far too long.”
There’s a catch to that ‘eat out to help out’ voucher…
The 50% “eat out to help out” discount can be used “unlimited times” on eligible days when dining in but will only include non-alcoholic drinks, the Treasury’s Plan For Jobs document says.
Boris Johnson’s claim ‘no one knew’ coronavirus was spread without symptoms is untrue
Back on PMQs… Boris Johnson made some claims about the asymptomatic spread of coronavirus.
The Mirror’s Mikey Smith has looked into them and it turns out they don’t stack up.
Treasury has set up £9.4bn to pay for job retention bonus
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new scheme that could cost up to £9 billion to encourage employers to bring back the workers they furloughed.
Mr Sunak said that the furlough scheme cannot go on indefinitely and will be wrapped up in October, but promised to pay companies £1,000 for each employee if they take back the staff that they sent home as part of the scheme.
The jobs retention bonus will be paid to companies if they keep the employee in work until January, and pay them at least £520 per month, on average.
If all furloughed workers are taken back by their employer the scheme will cost the Government £9 billion, the Chancellor said.
“Leaving the furlough scheme open forever gives people false hope that it will always be possible to return to the jobs they had before,” he told MPs.
Britain ‘should have had a back to work budget’ – Dodds
Anneliese Dodds added that the Chancellor should have introduced a “back to work budget” and not a statement.
She said: “It should have been the day when the millions of British people worried about their jobs and future prospects had a load taken off of their shoulders.
“It should have been the day when we got the UK economy firing again.
“Today, Britain should have had a back to work budget, but instead we got this summer statement with many of the big decisions put off until later as the benches opposite know full well.”
Response from Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said Labour acknowledge that the Government has had to make big decisions.
Responding to Rishi Sunak’s statement, Ms Dodds said: “Our country has been through a great deal over these past few months. Hundreds of thousands have wrestled with this terrible disease.
“For many months people have had to go without being able to embrace their loved ones even to say goodbye.
“Tens of thousands have died. Our NHS, social care and other workers have made extraordinary sacrifices, we owe them so much.
“The Government has had to take big decisions too, we acknowledge that, but today should have been the day when our Government chose to build a bridge between what has been done so far and what needs to be done to get out economy moving again.”
Rishi Sunak unveils new 50% off voucher scheme at thousands of restaurants
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said every single member of the public will be able to eat out for half the price from next week, as a new voucher initiative launches to protect the hospitality sector.
Speaking during the mini-Budget, he said everyone will be given an ‘eat out to help out’ discount from Monday to Wednesday to help pump cash back in to the struggling high street.
It means meals will be up to 50% off, up to a max discount of £10 per head.
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