Rachel has welcomed the Chancellor’s Budget which will ‘protect jobs, livelihoods and support Redditch’s recovery’ from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Today (March 3rd), the Government set out an ambitious plan that focuses on supporting people and businesses through this moment of crisis – well beyond the end of the roadmap – to ensure they have the security and stability they need.

At the heart of the Budget are measures to build our future economy, levelling up across all regions of the United Kingdom and spreading opportunity everywhere.

As part of the Government’s commitments to fund the nation’s priorities, the Budget confirmed:

  1. An extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of September, ensuring it continues to support employers as they begin to reopen. Two further grants will also be available to self-employed people – and the newly self-employed will also be eligible for both grants.
  2. A continuation of the temporary Universal Credit uplift for a further six months. The Budget also confirms new support for providing young people with new skills: including doubling the incentive payment to SMEs to take on apprentices of any age to £3,000, and £126 million to triple the number of traineeships next year.
  3. New Recovery Loans and a new Restart grant of up to £18,000 to help businesses as they reopen. Support for the sports, arts and culture sectors will also be increased by a further £700 million as they begin to reopen.
  4. Extending the business rates holiday, VAT cut and stamp duty holiday. There will also be a new mortgage guarantee scheme from April which backs 95% mortgages – helping those with smaller deposits.
  5. Opening up the new Levelling Up Fund for its first round of bids, worth £4.8 billion across the United Kingdom. District Councils, including Redditch, will be able to bid for up to £20 million from this fund. This is on top of the Town Deal bid Redditch has submitted for up to £25 million.
  6. Launching the first ever UK Infrastructure Bank – located in Leeds – to invest in public and private projects to drive green growth and create green jobs.
  7. A new Help to Grow scheme to boost productivity of small businesses, to ensure they are embracing the latest technology and management training.
  8. Being honest with the British people about the need to fix the public finances. We are standing by our manifesto pledge not to increase Income Tax, NICs or VAT and we are freezing alcohol duty, and fuel duty for the 11th year in a row. However to fix the public finances, corporation tax on large company profits will increase to 25 per cent in 2023. This will be tapered and 70 per cent of businesses will be completely unaffected.

 In welcoming the Budget, Rachel said:

“This is Budget will protect jobs, livelihoods and support Redditch’s recovery from the impact of this pandemic. It ensures my constituents and local businesses continue to receive the support they need.

“However, with £407 billion of support for families, jobs and businesses, it is also right the Chancellor is honest with my constituents about our public finances.

“But, as we look ahead, this will be an investment led recovery and independent experts tell us our economy will bounce back faster than first thought.

“We will see this investment led recovery here in Redditch with the Super Deduction Tax, allowing businesses to claim 130% of their new machinery cost as a tax cut.

“The Levelling Up Fund will provide Redditch with a further opportunity to bid for more Government investment as each district council area will be able to bid for up to £20 million to spend on local infrastructure. It’s clear this Conservative Government is determined to support our desire to unlock Redditch’s full potential.”