Rishi Sunak unveils VAT cut to 5% for hospitality and a new ‘eat out to help out’ scheme

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th July 2020

Rishi Sunak today unveiled his big spending plan to rescue the economy from the coronavirus-induced recession.

The Chancellor focused on jobs, particularly among young people and the hospitality industry, as the Government attempts to halt widespread unemployment.

By Christmas, unemployment is expected to hit 2million.

Only four months after his last Budget, he announced new measures and schemes including a new jobs retention bonus, the new kickstart plan and a VAT cut to 5% for the hospitality industry alongside a new ‘eat out to help out’ scheme.

VAT cut for hospitality

From next Wednesday, to January 12, VAT will be cut to 5% for pubs, restaurants, hotels and others in the hospitality industry.

Plus, during the month of August everyone in the country will be given an ‘eat out to help out’ discount, to be used Monday to Wednesday, up to 50% off with a maximum discount of £10 per head including children. Businesses can register from next Wednesday to take part in the scheme and each week in August they can claim money back with funds in bank accounts within 5 working days.

“There are 1.8 million people who work in this industry and they need our support.”

Job retention bonus

The Job Retention Bonus is a new policy to reward and incentify employers to bring people back from furlough. They must employ them until January 2021 and they will receive a £1000 bonus per employee. The employee must be paid a minimum of £520 per month on average between November to January.

He said: “If you stand by your workers we will stand by you.”

He explained this second phase of the economic response to the coronavirus focuses on a plan for jobs – ‘protect, support and create jobs’. The third phase he said ‘we will rebuild’.

“I stood here in March saying I knew people were worried and I know they are worried still. “People need to know we will do all we can to give everyone the opportunity of good and secure work.

“I will never accept unemployment as an inevitable outcome.”

He added: “When furlough ends it will be a difficult moment – calling for endless extensions is just as irresponsible as it would have been to end it over night in June.

“The longer people on furlough, skills will fade and they will find it harder to find new roles." 

£2bn kickstart plan

A new £2billion "Kickstart Scheme" is aimed at finding work for 350,000 jobless Brits. Under the initiative, the government will pay towards six months of wage costs for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are hired by employers.

It will cover 100 per cent of the minimum wage for a maximum of 25 hours a week with firms able to top up wages. The Kickstart Scheme will cost the state an average of £6,500 for each job.

But Mr Sunak hopes it will trigger a mass hiring spree by firms when it opens next month.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th July 2020

Rishi Sunak unveils VAT cut to 5% for hospitality and a new ‘eat out to help out’ scheme