Rishi Sunak has today announced a mini-budget designed to help the country recover as it emerges from coronavirus lockdown.
There were a number of pledges made by the government today, but the overriding objective seems to be to prevent mass redundancies in the coming months. Although the Chancellor has rejected calls to extend the furlough scheme, saying that it would give people “false hope”, he has announced a £30bn plan to prevent mass unemployment.
One of the measures announced is a “job retention bonus” under which employers who bring furloughed employees back to work for at least three months after the scheme ends in October will be eligible for a £1000 bonus for each affected employee.
The Chancellor has also announced a “Kickstart Scheme”, which will directly pay employers to create new jobs for any 16 to 24 year-old at risk of long-term unemployment.
Other employment related measures include a £3bn package of green investment to help create thousands of jobs and make public sector buildings greener, and a £1,000 payment to firms for each new work experience place they offer for young people undergoing traineeships.
It is hoped that the other measures announced today, including a VAT cut, a meals discount, and the removal of stamp duty payable on property under £500,000, will boost the economy and indirectly support both employers and employees.