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Summer Statement - Update

The media is full of the Chancellor’s latest Covid-19 support measures. Here is a brief summary:

 

  1. VAT reduction for hospitality and tourism: for the next six months VAT charged on food, accommodation and attractions (such as eat-in or takeaway food in restaurants, cafes, pubs, cinemas, theme parks and zoos) will see VAT reduced from 20% to 5%. This will apply from 15th July 2020 until 12th January 2021. These dates, starting and ending mid-month, make this a potentially complex calculation – please ask us for help in making the necessary adjustments to your VAT records.

 

  1. Eat Out to Help Out discount: for the month of August 2020, meals eaten at any participating business on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, will be 50% off, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head, including children. To access the discount, eligible businesses will need to register through a dedicated website, to be opened next Monday, 13 July 2020. Businesses will be able to claim the money back weekly with the money in their bank accounts within 5 working days.

 

  1. Job Retention Bonus: employers that bring back an employee that was furloughed, and continuously employ them through to January 2021, will be paid a £1,000 government bonus per employee retained. Employees must be seen to be gainfully employed during this period and be paid at least £520 a month, on average, from November 2020 to January 2021. All furloughed employees returned to employment in this way will be available for the £1,000 bonus.  It doesn’t say ‘excluding directors’ so we assume all employees that have been furloughed and then retained will qualify.

 

  1. Kickstart scheme: this new scheme will cover the wages (plus associated costs) of new jobs created for any 16 to 24-year-old - at risk of long-term unemployment - for six months. These will have to be:
  1. New jobs
  2. Working at least 25 hours a week
  3. Paid the National Minimum Wage
  4. Offering kickstarters training and support to find a permanent job

 

Employers can apply to be part of this new scheme from next month (August), with the first jobs starting in the autumn and there is no cap on the number of kickstart places made available.

 

  1. Apprenticeships: for the next six months government will pay employers £2,000 for each new apprentice. There will also be a bonus of £1,500 for each apprentice appointed and aged over 25.

 

  1. Green jobs initiatives: From September 2020, homeowners and landlords in England will be able to apply for a grant to make their home more energy-efficient. The Green Homes grant will cover at least two-thirds of the cost up to £5,000 per household. For low-income households, these grants will cover all costs up to £10,000.

 

  1. Boost for the housing market: For a temporary period to 31 March 2021 – the Stamp Duty threshold is increased to £500,000. It is projected that this will reduce the average stamp duty bill by £4,500. Regional variations may apply. Purchasers buying a second residential property will still have to pay the 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge for property purchases.

 

Please feel free to share this information as widely as possible and encourage people, who might benefit from these updates, to register at www.asquithand.co.ukfor future updates.

This information is provided free of charge and in good faith, without acceptance of any future liability arising from any action or in-action by any recipient or reader.

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