The Budget 2021: At a glance guide

Apprenticeships: An additional £126 million in England for work placements and training for 16-24 year olds in the 2021/22 academic year. Employers who provide trainees with work experience will continue to be funded at a rate of £1,000 per trainee.  Those who hire a new apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 will receive £3,000 per new hire, in addition to the existing £1,000 payment.

Furlough goes further: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now run until the end of September 2021. Employees will receive 80% of their current salary for any hours that they do not work. Employers will may NIC and pension contributions in April, May and June, and 10% towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September.

Frozen fuel: Fuel duty will be frozen in 2021-22. HGV VED will also be frozen for 2021-2022 and the HGV Levy will be suspended for another 12 months until August 2022. The government will freeze the Aggregates Levy rate for 2021-22 but intends to return to index-linking in future.

Infrastructure: A Modern Methods of Construction Taskforce, will accelerate the delivery of MMC homes in the UK. And a new National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) study on towns and regeneration, will consider how to maximise the benefits of infrastructure policy and investment for towns in England.

Loan Recovery: From 6 April 2021 the Recovery Loan Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million. The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those who have already received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes. As with other business support schemes, the government will set out steps for closing this scheme in due course.

No contact: Contactless card payments will now have limits of £100 (single transaction) and £300 (consecutive transactions) without the need for a chip and pin number to be input. This will ne implemented later in the year. , without the need for customers to input their chip and pin. The government looks forward to the banking industry implementing the new limits later this year.

Sickness support: The temporary Covid measure to account for higher levels of staff sickness will remain for the time being. This allows small and medium-sized employers  to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay costs per employee.

Skillset: A new UK-wide management programme will combine a national curriculum delivered through business schools with practical case studies and mentoring from experienced business professionals. Similarly, a new UK-wide scheme will be launched in the autumn to help 100,000 SMEs save time and money by adopting productivity-enhancing software, transforming the way they do business. This will combine a voucher covering up to half of the costs of approved software up to a maximum of £5,000, and free impartial advice, delivered through an online platform

Super-deduction: Until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets can get a 130% first-year capital allowance, cutting their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest.

Taxation: Corporation tax rises from 2023 to 25% on profits over £250,000. The rate for small profits under £50,000 stays at 19% and businesses with profits under £250,000 get relief so that they pay less than the main rate. The Diverted Profits Tax rate will rise to 31% from April 2023. The individual personal tax allowances remain frozen at their current levels.

VAT deferred: Businesses that deferred their VAT returns can now pay that deferred VAT in up to eleven equal payments from March 2021, rather than one larger payment as originally announced.

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About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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