With the coronavirus pandemic causing an ‘economic emergency’, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak claims it has only just begun and will cause lasting damage to growth and jobs. Forecasts show that the UK economy is not expected to return to it’s pre-crisis level for 2 years.
The government will borrow £394 billion this year, Mr Sunak said his "number one priority is to protect jobs and livelihoods”. This year, the government are providing £280 billion to get the UK through coronavirus.
Statistics offered by Mr Sunak included:
- Budget forecast due to ‘long-term scarring’ however the economy is forecast to grow by 5.5% next year and by 6.6% in 2022.
- Economy set to contract by 11.3% in 2020, the largest fall for more than 300 years.
- In 2025, the economy will be around 3% smaller than was expected in March
With unemployment predicted to rise to 2.6 million, a new £4.6bn package has been announced to help people back to work and a £2.6bn Restart scheme to support those out of work for 12 months.
Mr Sunak advised that government were committed to boosting skills, with £291 million to pay for more young people to go into further education, £1.5 billion to rebuild colleges, £375 million to deliver the prime minister's Lifetime Skills Guarantee and extend traineeships, sector-based work academies, and the National Career Service, as well as improving the way the apprenticeship system works for businesses."
23 and 24-year olds will qualify for The National Living Wage for first time, the Kickstart scheme to subsidise jobs for young people has been given £1.6bn and the National Living wage to rise by 2.2% to £8.91 an hour.
2.1 million public sector workers earning less than £24,000 will receive a rise of at least £250 - and this means the majority of public employees will see their pay increase in 2021.
Business rates multiplier (multiplying the rateable value (RV) of each property by one of two Business Rates multiplier.) And finally, a new UK infrastructure bank is to be established in the North of England.