CORONAVIRUS is set to dominate tomorrow’s Budget – with extra help for the NHS, businesses and workers on the cards.
Rishi Sunak’s first Budget is set to be overshadowed by the virus, as it killed a fifth Brit last night and the number of cases continued to spiral.
It will be the first Budget for the UK in more than 40 years as a non-EU member state, after Britain exited the EU on January 31.
Here’s what we can expect to help the country gear up for a coronavirus crisis – and the latest on what else could be revealed.
The NHS will get “whatever is needed” to cope with coronavirus in the Budget, the Chancellor vowed last weekend.
Rishi Sunak warned the UK was set for a “shock” from the killer illness, but vowed to do whatever it takes to make sure the NHS can cope with the outbreak.
Earlier this week the Government announced an extra £46million in the fight against coronavirus.
The money will include funds towards the development of a vaccine as well as a new a rapid test for the disease.
Emergency fund for businesses
Extra sick pay help for self-employed
Up to one in five Brits could be off sick at the height of the crisis, it was revealed last week.
Boris Johnson has already said that Statutory Sick Pay would be extended to day one of self-isolation, rather than day four.
And today Matt Hancock insisted more help was coming for those who can’t get sick pay at the moment, like the self-employed.
He told the House of Commons: “I can confirm we will ensure whatever the status of people who work right across the economy whether they are self employed or employed… but work fewer than the number of hours a week can get the support so they are not penalised for doing the right thing.”
BEST OF THE REST:
Fuel duty hike on the cards
Fears have escalated that the Chancellor may raise fuel duty for the first time in a decade.
Those close to his preparations have not ruled out ending the freeze, which would hike fuel by 2p per litre from April.
Pension tax relief shake-up
Two million lower-income earners miss out on 20 per cent tax relief because of the type of scheme their employer puts them into.
Those who are on a “net pay” scheme, typically part-time or low-pay workers, pay their pension contributions before tax has been deducted.
A “relief at source” scheme takes the pension contribution after tax has been paid, tax relief is then added to the employee’s savings directly by HMRC, increasing your pension contribution.
Pension professionals are hoping the government will use the Budget as an opportunity to make sure these people are protected.
More help for parents of sick newborn babies
Parents of sick and premature babies will be able to get an extra £160 to help them cope under new measures in the budget due to be announced on Wednesday.
The funding boost will help struggling mums and dads across the country who have to cope with the stress of an early arrival.
Help for heroes
Companies are set to get a tax break if they hire veterans in a bid to get more of them into work too, the Sun revealed this week.
The Chancellor will declare employers will no longer have to pay any National Insurance Contributions for ex-forces personnel for the first year of their work.