- July 14, 2020
- Posted by: Stephen James
- Categories: Chancellor, Economics
Today the Chancellor announced our Plan for Jobs, worth up to £30 billion, to kickstart the economy and help create, support, and protect jobs across the United Kingdom.
His plan supports people to find the jobs that are out there, creates new jobs through investing in our infrastructure and housing, and protects jobs by revitalising the hard-hit sectors upon which many jobs depend.
The first stage of our plan was about protection. It is now time to focus on jobs. And our Plan for Jobs will deliver for the economy.
Our Plan to protect existing jobs
Front and centre of our economic response has been the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The retention scheme has been used by over 1.1 million employers to protect 9.3 million people’s jobs, helping put money in people’s pockets and keeping our economy going throughout this crisis.
But it cannot and should not go on forever. That is why we will introduce new unprecedented measures to protect millions of jobs, and help those sectors which have been particularly hard hit by coronavirus.
That’s why we will temporarily cut VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors, giving a much-needed boost to some of the industries hardest hit by coronavirus. From the 15th of July, VAT will fall to 5% across the UK for hospitality, accommodation and attractions until 12 January 2021. This will support hundreds of thousands of businesses and protect up to 2.5 million jobs.
And we’re going further to support struggling restaurants, cafés and pubs by launching a new Eat Out to Help Out scheme– something that has never been done in this country before.
We’re giving people up to 50% off meals out, encouraging them back into restaurants, cafés and pubs. Anyone who eats at a participating business, Monday to Wednesday throughout August, can receive up to 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person.
And we are rewarding and incentivising employers who successfully bring furloughed staff back through the new Jobs Retention Bonus Scheme.
To encourage employers to keep their employees on, we are introducing the Jobs Retention Bonus Scheme, a one-off payment of £1,000 to businesses for every employee who was furloughed previously and who is successfully kept on continuously until the end of January.
Our message to business is clear: if you stand by your employees, we will stand by you.
Our Plan for investing in infrastructure
We will not be deterred by this crisis from the urgent need for change in our country and to deliver on our manifesto commitments – that is why we are doubling down on our ambitions to level up, invest in infrastructure and create jobs in all four corners of our country.
We are temporarily scrapping stamp duty on all homes under £500,000 to catalyse the housing market and boost confidence – helping to drive growth and create jobs. From 9th of July until the 31st of March, we are increasing the threshold at which stamp duty applies from £125,000 to £500,000.
This will mean that, from tomorrow, 90% of people trying to move up the property ladder will pay no stamp duty at all. That amounts to an average saving of £4,500 for every new homeowner.
And to help reduce energy bills, we are also launching a pilot to decarbonise social housing. We are providing £50 million to pilot new approaches for retrofitting social housing at scale – meaning warmer and more energy efficient homes.
That means reducing energy bills by an average of £200 for some households, meaning more money in your pocket as we get through this crisis.
We are also upgrading the energy efficiency of homes across England through a new Green Homes Grant, saving people hundreds of pounds on their energy bills. We will provide £2 billion to allow people to apply for a voucher, to fund at least two-thirds of the cost of upgrading the energy performance of their homes – up to £5,000 per home.
Together, this means we are investing substantially more into infrastructure and housing up and down Britain. That creates more work, new jobs, and greener homes as part of our eco-friendly economic recovery.
Our Plan to help young people find jobs
The coronavirus outbreak has hurt everyone, but we know that young people bear the brunt of the economic crisis, with many struggling to get a foot on the jobs ladder in these times, and young people 2.5 times more likely to be in the sectors hardest hit by coronavirus.
The Prime Minister announced last week we will provide an Opportunity Guarantee to give young people the skills and confidence they need to find they job that is right for them. Rishi Sunak in today’s Plan for Jobs announcement to the House has expanded on the ways in which we are going to make that happen.
We’re creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs for young people through a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, to give young people the best possible chance of getting a job.
Our £2 billion will initially fund hundreds of thousands of new placements. And the scheme will directly pay a grant of around £6,500 to businesses which create new, decent and high-quality jobs for young people.
We’re also paying businesses £1,000 to take on Trainees, with the goal to triple the number of places there are available now. We will provide £111 million to make this happen, and we’re expand eligibility of Traineeships to include more young people, to help get more young people ready for work. And we’re expanding the National Careers Service, with a £32 million investment to recruit more careers advisers and provide advice to 269,000 more people.
Why our Plan for Jobs will keep Britain going
Throughout the coronavirus crisis, we have put in place a £160 billion plan to protect people’s jobs, incomes and businesses – one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. Our interventions have helped protect people’s incomes.
We have provided over 53,000 loans to businesses, providing over £13bn in loans and finances to small, medium, and large businesses in Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans. And we have loaned a further £30 billion in Bounce Back Loans to 1 million eligible firms.
Our Jobs retention scheme has been used by over 1.1 million employers to protect 9.4 million jobs. And our self-employed income support scheme has helped over 2.7 million people find security in these tough times.
We know there is more to do. That’s why we’ve introduced a number of new plans today, building on our New Deal for Britain, to help our economy recover from the scarring effects of the coronavirus outbreak. And we will produce a Budget and a Spending Review in the autumn to outline our next steps on the long road to recovery.
But this plan for jobs will help our economy beat coronavirus. It helps support thousands of new and existing jobs across the country, powering up the nation’s workforce and helping to kickstart our economy following the pandemic – building it back greener, while ensuring that no one, especially young people are left behind. And in doing so, our plan will put us back on the road to recovery.