RISHI Sunak has slashed stamp duty on homes up to £500,000 until next year and unveiled a major jobs package as part of his masterplan to bounce Britain back from coronavirus.
In an extensive deal to support hundreds of thousands of jobs and create new ones, the Chancellor vowed to help the country get back on its feet after the three-month shut down.
As HOAR revealed earlier this week, stamp duty is being slashed in a bid to get the housing market moving.
The Chancellor said: “I have decided today to cut stamp duty.
“Today, I am increasing the threshold to half a million pounds. This will be a temporary cut running until 31st March 2021.
“And, as is always the case, these changes to stamp duty will take effect immediately. The average stamp duty bill will fall by £4,500.
“And nearly nine out of ten people buying a main home this year, will pay no stamp duty at all.”
Brits are also being told to go out and spend the cash they have saved during lockdown – with sweeteners for consumers to get them to part with their money.
And emergency plans are to be put in place to help businesses bounce back as quickly as they can, so more jobs aren’t lost.
At least 200,000 people have lost their jobs as part of the ongoing economic downturn, as a direct result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Chancellor said this lunchtime: “Today, we act, with a Plan for Jobs. Our plan has a clear goal: to protect, support and create jobs.
“It will give businesses the confidence to retain and hire. To create jobs in every part of our country.
“To give young people a better start. To give people everywhere the opportunity of a fresh start.
“I will never accept unemployment as an unavoidable outcome.
“We haven’t done everything we have so far just to step back now and say, ‘job done’. In truth, the job has only just begun.”
As part of his bumper plan to get Britain moving again, he is revealing:
- Employers will get a £1,000 bonus per worker they re-employ from furlough in a £9billion boost for firms
- A stamp duty holiday for homes to get the housing market moving
- Vouchers worth up to £5000 each for home-owners to spend on making 650,000 homes more energy efficient
- A ‘kickstart’ jobs placement programme where the Government will fund 25 hours a week to an employer to take on a young person for at least six months
- A huge boost in apprenticeships – and a £1000 in extra cash for firms who take on trainees
The move comes just four months after he gave his Spring Budget in March – filled with a £30billion economic package to try to protect the country from the economic impact of coronavirus.
Since then he’s splurged billions on the NHS, the huge furlough scheme, and several other big projects to keep the economic engine moving.
Another budget and spending review will come in the Autumn, he added.
And he vowed to “put our public finances back on a sustainable footing” -but gave no date for this.
Today’s ‘mini budget’ comes just after the prime minister’s “New Deal” speech – promising to plough more cash into building major infrastructure projects to create jobs and growth.
The Government wants to focus on young people, who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and are more likely to have lost or will lose their jobs.
STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY
HOAR revealed exclusively last weekend that a stamp duty holiday was on the cards for six months to help boost sales – and was expected from the Autumn.
The temporary measure would remove tax on the purchase of homes to target those most in need of help following the coronavirus crisis.
But Mr Sunak has been forced to bring forward the move because of fears the housing market would freeze while buyers waited for it to come in the autumn.
The move will enable some homes at the lower end of the London housing market to be taken out of stamp duty but crucially would take out hundreds of thousands of properties in the crucial ‘Blue Wall’ seats that handed Boris Johnson his huge election win last year.
Already property prices have started to fall due to the coronavirus disruption.
STATE-FUNDED JOBS FOR YOUNG
The Government will fund thousands of jobs for people who are out of work as part of stage two of their plans to bounce Britain back from coronavirus.
Under the £2billion Kickstart Scheme, the Government will pay towards six months of wage costs of each 16 to 24-year-old hired by employers.
It will cover 100 per cent of the minimum wage for a maximum of 25 hours a week — with firms able to top up wages.
Employers will be able to offer a six-month work placement for people aged between 16 and 24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
An initial £2billion has been put aside for the scheme but the Treasury said it will increase the budget if there is high take-up.
VOUCHERS FOR GREENER HOMES
HOAR also revealed this week the details of the new scheme to help boost a ‘green recovery’.
Hundreds of thousands of households will get the grants of up to £5,000 to make their homes more environmentally friendly.
Vouchers worth up to £10,000 will be available to some of the poorest families.
Homeowners will be able to spend the cash on loft, wall and floor insulation, eco-friendly boilers, heat pumps, double or triple-glazed windows, low-energy lighting and energy-efficient doors.
The scheme will go live in September and, according to Treasury estimates, will save families up to £600 a year on energy bills.
The grants will be part of a wider £3billion investment in green technology to be unveiled as the UK moves towards going carbon neutral by 2050.
The extra £1billion will be spent on revamping public buildings and social housing.
CASH TO HIRE TRAINEES + MORE APPRENTICESHIPS
Every firm who hires an 18-24 year old trainee will get a £1,000 cash bonus, the Chancellor is expected to confirm.
He will pledge £111million to the scheme which will incentivise firms to take on and train young workers struggling to find a job.