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On Wednesday 8 July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak released the Government’s Summer Statement which focuses on kick starting the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences it has had across the UK.

The Summer Statement has an emphasis on creating, protecting and supporting employment. The furlough scheme will wind down gradually until the end of October and businesses will be paid £1,000 to retain furloughed staff as part of a job retention bonus scheme.

Over the past few days, there has been a lot of speculation regarding Stamp Duty and the Chancellor has today announced the temporary change in the Stamp Duty Land Tax threshold in an attempt to ‘reinvigorate’ the housing market. The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold for residential conveyancing transactions will increase from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021, from £300,000 to £500,000 for first time buyers. These changes will take immediate effect. The Stamp Duty holiday is applicable to those purchasing their main home. The additional 3% higher rate shall apply on top of the revised rate for purchases of additional dwellings as before. For more information, please click here.

As part of the Summer Statement, the Government will provide £3 billion for decarbonising housing and public buildings with vouchers up to the value of £10,000 available for ‘poorer’ families to insulate homes and reduce carbon emissions. £1 billion will be allocated to make buildings more energy efficient and create additional local jobs.

Hospitality, one of the areas hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, will see a £4 billion catalyst that will benefit more than 150,000 businesses and consumers with VAT being reduced from 20% to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions. This is effective immediately and will run until 12 January 2021.

Other areas include the introduction of an “eat out to help out” discount to encourage consumers to spend in local restaurants and cafes during the month of August alongside a ‘kickstart’ job creation scheme for young people across the UK.

For further information on any of the changes arising from the Chancellor’s statement, please contact us today.