Worcester MP Robin Walker believes the measures announced today by Chancellor Rishi Sunak will provide a much-needed boost to support getting people back to work and businesses in Worcestershire.
This afternoon in Parliament, the Chancellor delivered a Summer Economic Update which is a package of measures to support jobs in every part of the country, give businesses the confidence to retain and hire, and provide people with the tools they need to get better jobs.
The Chancellor explained how the Government has already taken decisive action to protect the economy, but that “people are anxious about losing their job, about unemployment rising, and people need to know we will do all we can to give everyone the opportunity of good and secure work.”
Throughout the first stage of the pandemic, Robin has welcomed the £160 billion support package, which included £49 billion of extra funding for the country’s vital public services including the NHS, paying the wages of nearly 12 million people and supporting over a million businesses through grants, loans and rates cuts.
Robin recognises the challenges that are ahead as we enter the second phase in our recovery, which is designed to support jobs by focusing on skills and young people, create jobs with investment in shovel-ready projects and greening our infrastructure, and protect jobs through a VAT cut for the hospitality sector and a landmark ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount scheme for diners.
Robin singled out the ‘Kickstart Scheme’ as being vital in supporting the young people of Worcester, as it will create hundreds of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people at risk of long-term unemployment.
The Chancellor said that following this second phase focusing on jobs, there will be a third phase focusing on rebuilding, with a Budget and Spending Review in the autumn.
Key details of the announcement from Treasury, include:
As part of the plan to support jobs, a Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.
A new £2 billion ‘Kickstart Scheme’ will also be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.
A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. Young people, who are amongst the worst hit by the crisis, will benefit from this. This includes:
- Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
- A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 ensuring more young people have access to high quality training.
- £17 million of funding to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements in 2020-21
- Nearly £900 million to double the number of work coaches to 27,000;
- Over a quarter of a million more young people to benefit from an extra £32 million investment in the National Careers Service.
The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.
This includes a £3 billion green investment package that could help support around 140,000 green jobs and upgrade buildings and reduce emissions.
As part of this package homeowners and landlords in England will be able to apply for vouchers from a £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme this year to pay for green improvements such as loft, wall and floor insulation that could save some households hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills while creating thousands of jobs for tradespeople.
And a £1 billion programme will make public buildings, including schools and hospitals, greener, helping the country meet its ambitions of achieving Net Zero by 2050, whilst investing in our future prosperity.
In addition, £5.8 billion will be spent on shovel-ready construction projects to get Britain building. This includes:
- £1.5 billion for hospital maintenance and upgrades
- £100 million for our local roads network
- over £1 billion to start to rebuild schools in the worst condition in England, plus £760 million this year for key maintenance work on schools and FE colleges
- £1 billion for local projects to boost local economic recovery in the places that need it most
- £142 million for court maintenance to repair around 100 courts across England.
- ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount scheme will provide a 50% reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020.
- The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will also be cut from 20% to 5%. This will save households around £160 per year on average and, together with the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme, will support over 2.4 million staff at over 150,000 businesses, helping them recover and reopen after the Covid-19 lockdown. This will give these businesses the confidence to maintain their staff, as more people get through the door and business activity kick-starts again.
- Introducing a temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021. In England and Northern Ireland nearly 9 out of 10 people getting on or moving up the property ladder will pay no Stamp Duty at all.
Speaking after the Chancellor announced the measures, Robin said:
“I welcome today’s measures announced by the Chancellor in parliament as we enter the next phase of our recovery.”
“I recognise the sacrifices that the people of Worcester have made during the crisis and the challenges that we face ahead. As we look to rebuild, I believe that measures announced, including changes to stamp duty and cuts to VAT will be enormously beneficial.”
“I have long advocated of the benefits of apprenticeships and I was pleased that the Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25 in addition to the existing £1,000 payment already provided for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.”
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“Throughout this crisis I have never been the prisoner of ideology. For me, this has never just been a question of economics, but of values.”
“We believe in the nobility of work. We believe in the inspiring power of opportunity. We believe in the British people’s fortitude and endurance.”
“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.”
“We will not be defined by this crisis, but by our response to it. It is an unambiguous choice to make this moment meaningful for our country in a way that transcends the frustration and loss of recent months. It is a plan to turn our national recovery into millions of stories of personal renewal.”
Notes to editors
For more information on the Chancellors Summer Economic Update, please see:
For a copy of the full transcript, please see: