Budget 2021 – a summary

Here are some quick highlights of the Budget 2021 as they relate to businesses:
  • 100% Business Rates relief to continue for first 3 months (April to June) then business rates will be discounted by 2/3 until 31 March 2022.
  • Restart grants for businesses – up to £6,000 for non essential retail; Up to £18,000 for hospitality, leisure, personal care and gyms
  • VAT for hospitality to stay at 5% until end of September, then 12.5% until 31 March 2022 
  • New recovery loan scheme (80% government guarantee) available until the end of the year from £25k to £10m
  • Help to Grow scheme launched to help small and medium sized businesses in two parts
    • Help to Grow: Management – an Executive Development programme to improve business performance and growth potential
    • Help to Grow: Digital – free online advice and money off software to save time and cut costs
  • Furlough to be extended to the end of September with the Government paying 80% of employees’ wages for hours they cannot work with employers contributing 10% in July and 20% in August and September
  • Apprenticeship incentive payment doubled to £3,000
  • Minimum wage to increase to £8.91 an hour from April
  • Self employment grants to continue with those previously ineligible possibly able to claim.
  • Corporation tax to increase to 25% from April 2023 for businesses with profits over £250,000. Small profits rate of 19% for businesses with profits less than £50,000. Taper from £50k to £250k.

In addition the following announcements were made in the budget

  • Income tax: the tax allowance to be frozen at £12,570 and higher rate income tax threshold frozen at £50,270 until 2026.
  • Alcohol and fuel duty frozen
  • Stamp duty holiday on house purchases of up to £500,000 to be extended to 30 June
  • £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit to be extended for six months
  • One off payment of £500 for Working Tax Credit claimants
  • Tobacco duties to rise by inflation + 2%