The Chancellor’s 2021 budget announced on Wednesday 3rd March outlined a number of initiatives to support businesses.
- The business rates holiday in England has been extended by an additional three months. Retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England will pay no business rates for three months from 1 April.
- Extended the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months, until 31 March 2022.
- Grant funding will be available to businesses in England through a new £5 billion Restart Grant scheme to help the high street, providing up to £18,000, bringing the total spent on business grants to £25 billion.
- A new Recovery Loan Scheme will also be launched to replace the existing government guaranteed schemes which have supported £73 billion of lending to date and close at the end of March.
- UK Government’s Plan for Jobs to support, protect and create jobs, the Chancellor is increasing support with £126 million of new money to enable 40,000 more traineeships, and doubling the cash incentive to firms who take on an apprentice to a £3,000 payment per hire. The National Living Wage will be increased to £8.91 from April and there will also be a six-month extension of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift, with eligible Working Tax Credit claimants receiving a one-off payment of £500.
- 130,000 small and medium sized businesses will be supported through the new Help to Grow scheme, providing the digital and management tools needed to innovate, grow and help drive recovery.
- Beginning April 2021, a new super-deduction will cut companies’ tax bill by 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment meaning they can reduce their taxable profits by 130% of the cost. This is worth £25 billion to companies over the two-year period the super-deduction will be in full effect.
- Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, new port infrastructure will be built to support the next generation of offshore wind projects in Teesside and Humberside. The UK will issue at least £15 billion in green bonds to help finance the transition to net zero and the government will launch the world’s first sovereign green savings bond for retail investors.