Sunday, 09 May, 2021


United Kingdom extends furlough scheme by five months, gives more help to self-employed

Boris Johnson Holds Cabinet Meeting With New Ministers After Reshuffle Rishi Sunak | Chris J Ratcliffe Getty Images By Annabelle Dicks
Hannah Rogers | 03 March, 2021, 19:28

Corporations will see taxes on their United Kingdom profits rise to 25 percent from 2023 as Chancellor Rishi Sunak moves to plug the U.K.'s budget black hole. He also announced 600,000 more self-employed people will be eligible for government help as access to grants is widened.

"I will also maintain, at their current levels, until April 2026: The inheritance tax thresholds, the pensions lifetime allowance, the annual exempt amount in capital gains tax and, for two years from April 2022, the VAT registration threshold".

Keir Starmer has urged Rishi Sunak to follow the example of the Welsh Government when he announces his Budget tomorrow.

His package of measures meanwhile included an extension to the 5 percent reduced rate of Value-Added Tax for tourism and hospitality, an extension to the business rates holiday and more access to loans and grants for businesses.

"We're making available 700 million pounds to support our incredible arts, culture and sporting institutions as they reopen; Backing the United Kingdom and Ireland's joint 2030 World Cup bid, launching a new approach to apprenticeships in the creative industries, and extending our 500 million pounds film and TV production restart scheme".

- All alcohol duties are frozen for the second year in a row and the planned increase in fuel duty is also cancelled.

Sunak is expected to announce an increase in Britain's low corporation tax rate as a first signal of his plans to address the hole in the budget in the future. "This means around 70% of companies - 1.4 million businesses - will be completely unaffected".

And there will be a taper above £50,000, so that only businesses with profits of £250,000 or greater will be taxed at the full 25% rate - around 10% of firms.

- Freeports - "special economic zones with different rules to make it easier and cheaper to do business" - will be located at East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, the Humber region, the Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.

Sunak will also say that once the economy is "on the way to recovery, we will need to begin fixing the public finances - and I want to be honest today about our plans to do that".

130,000 small and medium sized businesses will be supported through the new Help to Grow scheme, providing the digital and management tools needed to innovate, grow and help drive recovery.

Britain will hike taxes on its biggest companies in 2023 as it begins to restore government finances in the wake of the pandemic, the worst economic slump in more than three centuries and the messy Brexit divorce from its largest trading partner.

And to help progress the Prime Minister's ambitious Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, new port infrastructure will be built to support the next generation of offshore wind projects in Teesside and Humberside.

Since April 2020, or soon after the UK's first virus lockdown, the government's net borrowing has ballooned by £271 billion ($378 billion, 314 billion euros), according to official data.

In addition, this budget provides an additional £2.4 billion to the devolved administrations in 2021-22 through the Barnett formula.

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