Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out a ‘Plan for Jobs’ aimed at spurring the UK’s recovery from the Coronavirus outbreak.
Delivering his Summer Economic Update in Parliament, the Chancellor announced a package of measures 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 an Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme for diners.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“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.”
A Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers and a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.
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.
The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8bn of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects. This includes a £3bn 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 £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme to pay for green improvements such as loft, wall and floor insulation and a £1bn programme will make public buildings, including schools and hospitals, greener.
In addition, £5.8bn will be spent on shovel-ready construction projects to get Britain building, including:
- £1.5bn for hospital maintenance and upgrades
- £100m for local roads network
- Over £1bn to start to rebuild schools in the worst condition in England, plus £760m this year for key maintenance work on schools and FE colleges
- £1bn for local projects to boost local economic recovery in the places that need it most
- £142m for court maintenance to repair around 100 courts across England.
“We want people to feel confident to move, to buy, to sell, to renovate, and to improve their homes,” said Sunak announcing a temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021.
This means that 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, driving growth and support jobs across the housebuilding and property sectors.