Budget 2021

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the Autumn budget and spending review. 

Here are some of the key points which may be relevant to you:

  • To reduce the burden of business rates and support investment in England, the government is freezing the business rates multiplier for a further year, a tax cut worth £4.6 billion over five years.
  • A new 50% business rates discount for businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors in England. Overall reducing the burden of business rates in England by £7 billion over the next five years, alongside a commitment to modernise the business rates system with more frequent revaluations every three years.
  • New investment incentives in England totalling almost £750 million, including tax relief for eligible green investments and a new ‘business rates improvement relief’.
  • Temporarily increasing the headline rates of tax relief for theatres, museums, orchestras and galleries across the UK from 27 October 2021 to 31 March 2024, increasing the relief organisations can claim as they invest in new productions and exhibitions.

Other points of note:

  • The new Health and Social Care Levy, along with an increase to the rates of dividend tax, will raise around £13 billion per year for spending on health and social care across the UK. This enables significant further funding for the NHS, for the government’s reforms to social care, public health and prevention programmes, and investment in training the workforce of the future.
  • An additional £1.9 billion resource funding for England’s criminal justice system to manage the increased number of offenders being brought to justice and start to reduce backlogs in criminal courts caused by COVID-19 and improve waiting times.
  • Permanently cutting the Universal Credit taper rate by 8% from 63p to 55p.
  • From 1st April 2022 the National Living Wage will increase by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour. Young people and apprentices will also see pay increases as the National Minimum Wage rates will also increase next April. Alcohol duties will be frozen across the board for the third year running saving consumers £3 billion.
  • £639 million resource funding per annum by 2024-25 as part of the government’s commitment to end rough sleeping in England, an 85% cash increase compared to 2019-20. This brings total funding to £1.9 billion resource and £109 million capital investment over the SR21 period, and builds on the government’s achievement of having reduced rough sleeping numbers by a third between 2019 and 2020.
  • Fuel duty rates will be frozen UK-wide for the 12th consecutive year.
  • An increase in adult skills funding by 29% in real terms compared to 2019-20 – this funding will go towards a range of policies in England such as continuing the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee to offer free Level 3 courses for adults, and quadruple the current scale of Skills Bootcamps
  • New investment of £1.6 billion for 16–19-year olds’ education in England. Increases apprenticeship funding in England to £2.7 billion in 2024-25 and continue to invest over £900 million for each year of this Spending Review across Great Britain on work coaches to ensure Universal Credit claimants receive the best support to find employment.
  • Confirmed funding for the Restart scheme in England and Wales, to continue providing intensive and tailored support to long-term unemployed people to help them find work
  • £90 million to extend the Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme to the end of September 2022 – helping those unemployed for between three and twelve months across Great Britain find work.
  • Over £2.6 billion for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund over the Spending Review, focused on helping people into jobs and get on in life across the UK.
  • £560 million new funding for youth services in England over the next three years, enough to fund 300 youth clubs.
  • £2.6bn between 2020-2025 for a new, long-term pipeline of over 50 local road upgrades in England and over £5 billion for local roads maintenance, enough to fill millions of potholes a year.
  • £3 billion investment over this Parliament to level up bus services in England, including a new dedicated £1.2 billion new funding for London-style bus transformation deals to improve infrastructure, fares and services. 
  • £850m to protect museums, galleries, libraries, and local culture in England.
  • An extension of the temporary £1 million level of the Annual Investment Allowance to March 2023, providing more upfront support to help businesses across the UK to invest and grow.
  • £6.1 billion to back the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, boosting the number of zero emission vehicles, helping to develop greener planes and ships, and encouraging more trips by bus, bicycle and foot.
  • The alcohol duty system will be overhauled to make it fairer and more straightforward, with drinks taxed in proportion to their alcohol content and duty rules simplified.

You can find details of the full announcement here and the full speech here.

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