Rishi Sunak has made announcements relating to everything from Vouchers to VAT, the furlough scheme, Stamp Duty etc. in an effort to restart the UK economy. Today was probably the easier of the upcoming statements from the Chancellor. The Autumn budget will see Sunak explaining how all the COVID response schemes will be paid for. Here are todays highlights:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS)

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is winding down and will gradually cease, with a finish date of Oct 2020.

A New Job Retention Bonus

A once off bonus of £1,000, per employee, will be paid to employers for bringing back, and retaining, furloughed employees.

These employees must be paid at least £520, on average, per month, from Nov to the end of Jan 2021.

Kickstart Scheme

This new scheme will pay employers who employ 16 to 24 year olds (who are in receipt of Universal Credit or at risk of long-term unemployment), for a minimum of 25 hours per week, at the minimum wage. The jobs must be new additional jobs. The scheme will directly pay the employer the wages of these young employees for 6 months, a value of approx £6,000. Employers can apply to take part from August, with the idea that employees can start in their new jobs by the Autumn. There is no cap on places available.


The government will pay employers a cash incentive to take on trainees and hire young people. These new incentives are in addition to the existing £1,000 payment already provided for taking on new 16-18-year-old trainees and certain other apprentices aged over 25.

Universal Credit Supports

Rishi Sunik announced the following to help those on Universal Credit get back to work:

Infrastructure Investment

Further increased funding for roads, hospitals, towns, schools.

Green Homes Grant

A new grant to be made available from Sept 2020, to homeowners and landlords who want to make their homes more energy efficient. This grant will be paid in the form of vouchers, which will help support the local trades people. These vouchers will cover at least 2/3rd's od the cost of the renovation measures, up to a value of £5,000 per household.  For low income households, the grant will cover up to 100% of the costs, up to the value of £10,000, per household.

Other Green initiatives announced were:

Temporary Stamp Duty Cuts

The current Residential Stamp Duty Threshold will be temporarily increased from £125,000 up to £500,000. This Stamp Duty cut will be in place until 31st March 2021 and will take effect from today.

VAT Changes

The Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure sectors will receive a VAT rate cut for 6 months. VAT on food, accommodation, leisure admission fees for cinemas, zoos etc., is cut by 20%, with the new rate being 5%. This VAT rate cut begins next Wednesday, the 15th July, and will continue for 6 months until the 12th January 2021. 

Food and non-alcoholic drinks in restaurants, pubs and cafes, as well as hot takeaway food will be covered. Accommodation in hotels and B&Bs and admission to attractions such as theme parks and cinemas also affected Expect further guidance from HMRC to be published on the particulars of this new VAT rate, in the next few days.

Eat Out to Help Out

For the month of August, everyone will receive a 50% voucher to spend in participating restaurants, cafes and pubs, on their meal.


There you have it..Rishi Sunak's plan to invigorate the economy. As more information and guidance becomes available from HMRC, we will update this article.