Yesterday, the Chancellor announced his Budget for 2020 amid the growing COVID-19 crisis.
‘If the country needs it we will build it’ says Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Rishi Sunak, presenting his first budget in front of the House of Commons, announced a range of spending plans signaling growth for the Rail & Construction sectors.
Key highlights from the Chancellor’s budget include:
- More than £600 billion in the budget earmarked for spending on roads, railways, broadband and housing by mid-2025.
- Over £44 billion for transport and £32 billion for housing and environment in the budget for this coming year.
- Rail industry is exempt as the Government plans to abolish the annual tax relief on red diesel by 2022.
For Rail and Construction Industries
Getting into the finer details of the Budget 2020- West Yorkshire has been allocated a deal that includes more than £1.8 billion in investment to ‘Drive up living standards’. Transport is included in this strategy. Midlands Connect’s Midlands Rail Hub has been awarded an additional £20 million for the project.
Approaching 3 years after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, £1 billion has been allocated to a ‘safety fund’ to remove combustible cladding from buildings above 59ft tall.
A £2.5 billion package is due to be spent on fixing the potholes crisis. Aiming to fix 10 million potholes per year, councils said they welcomed the plans as they are currently fixing a pothole every 17 seconds.
For Employers and Workers
Concerns for the self-employed as the COVID-19 outbreak is seeing more of the population advised to self-isolate has put pressure on the government to include this in the Budget. They’ve announced a £500m boost for self-employed workers that are hit by the Coronavirus. This entitles those who are self-employed, to claim Employment and Support Allowance from day one, as opposed to day eight.
Statutory Sick Pay is to be extended for all those that are advised to self-isolate (providing they are eligible). To support employers, they will meet the cost for businesses that have less than 250 employees, for 14 days.
To support cashflow through the COVID-19 outbreak, a temporary coronavirus business interruption loan will be available of up to £1.2 million. British Business Bank will offer the scheme, which will guarantee 80% of the value of the loan to lenders backed by the Government with no-charge.
Subject to economic conditions, the National Living Wage is set to rise to £10.50ph by 2024, and the National Insurance threshold from £8,362 to £9,500. This comes as both the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage are due for an increase in 3 weeks (see below image).
Will the announcements affect your business?