The lowdown on the not so mini-budget

By Anna Wise on Thursday, 9 July 2020

As mini-Budgets go, yesterday’s was pretty major. There will be few people in the UK who have not felt the impact of the Coronavirus on their finances – whether it’s changes to working conditions, being furloughed, or for the lucky ones saving hundreds of pounds in the absence of restaurants or pubs being open. We’ve all experienced a change to our lifestyle. So, all eyes were on Chancellor Rishi Sunak as he outlined his measures to get the economy moving and deliver reassurance to the country.

For days, we have been keeping our ears to the ground and monitoring for expected announcements and speculations. The cuts to stamp duty for properties up to £500k, first announced earlier this week, set the stage for an impactful statement. Initial fears that the stamp duty cut would not take effect until the Autumn were quelled as it was confirmed that this measure will come into effect immediately – meaning that a whopping 88% of English buyers will save an average of £6,195 according to Savills, with some benefiting of a £15,000 saving. Cue many homebuyers picking up the phone to their solicitors to check what their stamp duty status is.

But with employment being one of the most pertinent issues for the population, the future of the job retention scheme was at the forefront of today’s announcement. In a surprise twist, the Government has introduced a job retention bonus programme, which will grant £1,000 to employers for every furloughed worker that is brought back and employed until the end of January 2021. In a move that could cost £9bn should every furloughed worker return, it’s clear that the Government is serious about its ‘plan for jobs’.

But, as Rishi Sunak himself admitted, there will be critics who will exercise their views whether the furlough scheme is scrapped or extended. Faced with this balancing act between getting people back to work and supporting their finances, time will tell which way it will it swing.

Perhaps more excitingly for the foodies amongst us, the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme will give every Briton £10 off their meal at all participating restaurants between Monday and Wednesday in August. And it didn’t take long for the red-top papers to jump on this news and make it their headline. Nothing like a catchy phrase for those headline writers. Dishy Rishi anyone?

As the Chancellor spoke in Parliament, everyone’s attention was on the TV. Followed by an influx of reactions and exceptionally fast comment drafting, we’ve responded to various elements of the summer statement, even the small details hidden away in the policy paper. Just another busy day in the Teamspirit newsroom!