UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced new measures “plan for jobs” including bonuses for employers, VAT and stamp duty cuts, home improvement vouchers and eating-out discounts. The finance minister made his summer statement or ‘mini-budget’ in parliament on Wednesday.
Today the Chancellor announced the introduction of the Job Retention Bonus.
This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.
To be eligible, employees should have been:
- earning at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
- furloughed at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- continuously employed up until at least 31 January 2021.
Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31 January has been received. More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July. However, the government will publish full guidance in Autumn.
Other new measures chancellor announced
The Chancellor also announced other measures, including:
• The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:
during August, diners can get 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered
• VAT reduction:
from 15 July until 12 January 2021, the UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on eatables. That include any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos
• An increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold in England and Northern Ireland:
increasing the threshold under which no SDLT is paid on the purchase of the main home from £125,000 to £500,000, with immediate effect until 31 March 2021.