The Budget 2020

The key points announced by the chancellor in his statement are below:

Coronavirus measures
A package to support individuals and businesses and other measures which, according to the chancellor, represents £30 billion of fiscal stimulus. It includes an £5 billion emergency response fund to support the NHS and public services and £7 billion for businesses and individuals hit by the outbreak.

Measures include the payment of statutory sick pay from day one rather than day four. Sick pay for all those who self-isolate even if they haven’t presented symptoms of Covid-19. The government will meet the cost of statutory sick pay for businesses with up to 250 employees for 14 days. A £1 billion government-backed loan scheme for businesses and scrapping of business rates this year for retail, leisure or hospitality businesses.

The economy
The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast economic growth of 1.1 per cent this year, 1.8 per cent in 2021 and then 1.5 per cent, 1.3 per cent and 1.4 per cent in the years thereafter. However, the estimates do not take into account the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Borrowing is forecast by the OBR to rise from 2.1 per cent of gross domestic product in 2019-20 to 2.4 per cent in 2020-21 and 2.8 per cent the following year.

National insurance contributions
The NIC threshold has been increased from £8,632 to £9,500, which the chancellor said would save the typical employee £104.

Spirits, beer, cider and wine duty
Duties have all been frozen this year. The chancellor said that this was only the second time in almost 20 years that all alcohol duties were frozen.

Fuel duty 
Remains frozen this year.

Pensions tax relief
The tapered annual allowance threshold has been raised to £200,000 from £110,000.

Research and development
Investment has been increased to £22 billion a year.

Flood defences
£120 million has been made available immediately to fund the repair of all damaged defences and £200 million provided to build resilience in areas that have suffered repeated flooding. Investment in flood defences over the next six years has been doubled to £5.2 billion.

Entrepreneurs’ relief
The lifetime limit has been lowered to £1 million, from £10 million.

NHS
The chancellor pledged to build 40 new hospitals as part of a package to spend an extra £6 billion on the health service over the parliament. This will also fund 50 million more GP surgery appointments and 50,000 extra nurses.

The immigration health surcharge will be increased to £624 but there will be a discounted rate for children.

Roads improvements
An investment of £27 billion to improve the network in what the chanellor called “the biggest ever investment in strategic roads and motorways”.

Potholes
As expected, £2.5 billion has been earmarked to fix potholes. The chancellor estimated the money would fill in 50 million holes.

Broadband
Investment of £5 billion to gigabit-capable broadband into hard-to-reach areas. A further £510 million of investment in the shared rural mobile phone network.

Plastic packaging tax
This levy will charge manufacturers and importers £200 per tonne on packaging that is less than 30 per cent recycled plastic.

Red diesel
The diesel tax relief scheme will be abolished for most sectors, but not agriculture.

Electric car charging
The chancellor promised to spend £500 million to help expand the network of charging hubs so that drivers are no more than 30 miles from a charging point.

Pollution
Mr Sunak also said £300 million will be invested to tackle nitrogen dioxide emissions in towns and cities.

Trees
A £640 million nature for climate fund will be established. About 30,000 hectares of trees will be planted in the coming five years, while some 35,000 hectares of peatland will be restored.

Employment allowance
This will be increased by a third to £4,000.

National minimum wage
The wage is set to rise to £10.50 an hour by 2024 as long as economic conditions allow.

Building safety
A Building Safety Fund of £1 billion has been announced to finance the removal of unsafe cladding from high-rise residential buildings over 18 metres in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire.

Reading tax
No VAT will be charged on books, newspapers, magazines and academic journals, in whatever form they are read, from December 1.

Housing
The Affordable Homes Programme has been extended with what the chancellor described as “a new, multi-year settlement of £12 billion”. Allocations of nearly £1.1 billion from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to build almost 70,000 homes.

National and regional funding
An extra £640 million for the Scottish government, £360 million for the Welsh government and £210 million for the Northern Ireland executive. In addition, £240 million was also pledged for city and growth deals.

Electricity and gas
The Climate Change Levy, paid by businesses, will be frozen on electricity from April 2022 and the gas levy will be increased. There will also be a new Green Gas Levy on gas suppliers which is expected to add £1 a year to household energy bills initially, rising to £5 a year by 2025.

Tampon tax
VAT on women’s sanitary products has been abolished starting from next January.

Corporation tax
This has been kept at 19 per cent.

Veterans
National insurance holiday for one year for companies that employ veterans.

Tackling homelessness
Almost £650 million pledged to help rough sleepers find permanent accomodation.