Budget 2021: What are the main points?

  Posted: 03.03.21 at 14:05 by James Mayer, Local Democracy Reporter

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The Chancellor has revealed his 2021 Budget which includes extensions to the furlough scheme and stamp duty relief, as well as increases in Universal Credit and National Living Wage.

Rishi Sunak put forward his economic plans for the year in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon.

Chancellor Sunak said in the House of Commons: "Coronavirus has caused one of the largest most comprehensive and sustained economic shocks this country has ever faced.”

Here’s a breakdown of the top announcements:

Housing

The Stamp Duty holiday is extended until the end of June for sales under £500,000

First-time buyers will get a “government guarantee” on Help to Buy mortgages, with a deposit of 5%

Tax

5% reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism will be extended for six months to September 30, followed by an interim rate of 12.5% for another six months

Income tax: the threshold for paying the basic rate will rise to £12,570 next year, and then it will be frozen for six years

Corporation tax paid on company profits will rise from 19% to 25% in April 2023

Business support

Furlough will continue until September, with no change of terms. After July, businesses will be asked for a 10% contribution, rising to 20% in August and September

Support for the self-employed will also continue until September

Business rates holiday will be extended through to the end of June, with a two-thirds discount for the remaining nine months of the year

A planned increase on alcohol duties will be cancelled

Universal credit

The universal credit uplift of £20 a week will also go on until September

The National Living Wage will rise to £8.91 from April

Hospitality

£5 billion grant for retail, hospitality and leisure confirmed – non-essential retail businesses will receive grants of up to £6,000 per premises and hospitality and leisure businesses will get grants of up to £18,000

Culture

Sporting, cultural and arts organisations will get £700 million to help them reopen

COVID-19

COVID vaccination rollout will receive an extra £1.65 billion in the Budget to help it reach its target of offering a first dose to every adult by July 31

Additional £65 billion COVID support package of measures amounting to £407 billion so far

An extra £19 million for domestic abuse programmes during the pandemic

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