Money

Furlough extension and traineeship funding in Chancellor’s 2021 Budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak delivered his Budget to the House of Commons on Wednesday 3 March and announced a number of policies to get the UK through the Covid-19 pandemic, rebalance country’s public finances and boost the economy.

Amongst the announcements was the news that the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September, which will see the government continue to pay 80% of employees’ wages, however, employers will be asked to contribute 10% in July and then a further 20% in August.

With the UK economy falling by 9.9% in 2020, the economy is projected to grow by 4% this year and is expected to increase further by 7.3% next year, with pre-Covid levels being reached by the middle of 2022.

Mr Sunak announced that there will be no changes to income tax, National Insurance or VAT, however, from April 2023, corporation tax on company profits will rise from 19% to 25%, but will not affect companies who make profits of £50,000 per year.

It was also announced in the Budget that £300m is being funded through the government’s Culture Recovery Fund to support theatres, museums and other cultural venues in England, while an additional £126m is being funded for traineeships, with £3,000 for each new apprentice hired between 1 April to 30 September this year.


A new UK Infrastructure Bank is to be set up in Leeds and will have £12bn in capital, with the aim of funding £40bn worth of public and private projects and aims to boost investment to accelerate the UK’s progress to net zero, as well as ‘levelling up’ the UK.

It was announced that 45 towns across England will benefit from regeneration through the Towns Fund, while Darlington was announced as the location for a new Treasury campus, which will see an extra 750 civil servants based in the town.

The locations of the first eight Freeports were confirmed, with Liverpool being successful in its bid, while the budget also saw funding announced for the devolved administrations, with the Scottish Government to receive £1.2bn, the Welsh Government £740m and the Northern Ireland Executive £410m.

Commenting, Mr Sunak said: “It’s going to take this country and the whole world a long time to recover from this extraordinary economic situation, but we will recover. This Budget meets the moment with a three part plan to protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people.

“First we will continue doing whatever it takes to support the British people and businesses through this moment of crisis.
“Second, once we are on the way to recovery, we will need to begin fixing the public finances and I want to be honest today about our plans for doing that.

“And third, in today’s Budget, we begin the way of building our future economy.”

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