RISHI Sunak has slashed stamp duty on homes up to £500,000 until next year and unveiled a major jobs package as part of his masterplan to bounce Britain back from coronavirus.
In an extensive deal to support hundreds of thousands of jobs and create new ones, the Chancellor vowed to help the country get back on its feet after the three-month shut down.
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As The Sun revealed earlier this week, stamp duty is being slashed in a bid to get the housing market moving.
The Chancellor said: “I have decided today to cut stamp duty.
“Today, I am increasing the threshold to half a million pounds. This will be a temporary cut running until 31st March 2021.
“And, as is always the case, these changes to stamp duty will take effect immediately. The average stamp duty bill will fall by £4,500.
“And nearly nine out of ten people buying a main home this year, will pay no stamp duty at all.”
The change to stamp duty will come in at midnight tonight.
Treasury sources suggested the change would save buyers an average of £4,500 when moving home.
The maximum stamp duty saving if buying a home costing £500,000 or more is £15,000.
The move will only affect people buying homes in England, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can choose to follow suit if they wish.
The Treasury denied that the move had been brought forward from the autumn after it was leaked, and said it was always the plan to do it now.
The move will enable some homes at the lower end of the London housing market to be taken out of stamp duty but crucially would take out hundreds of thousands of properties in the crucial ‘Blue Wall’ seats that handed Boris Johnson his huge election win last year.
Already property prices have started to fall due to the coronavirus disruption.
As part of the Chancellor’s bumper plan to get Britain moving again, he revealed:
The stamp-duty announcement was welcomed by think tank the Adam Smith Institute.
Head of research Matthew Lesh said: “Stamp duty is Britain’s worst tax.
“This temporary cut is the right move at the right time to get Britain moving.”
Estates experts Ringley also welcomed the announcement.
Managing director Mary-Anne Bowring said: The Chancellor’s proposals to exempt most homebuyers from paying any stamp duty under plans to kick-start Britain’s economic recovery is welcome news.
“A stamp duty holiday would no doubt cause a rush of transactions and help breathe life into a housing market that has been put into deep freeze in an effort to battle coronavirus.”
And Simon Nosworthy, head of residential conveyancing at Osbornes Law, said: “This announcement is the shot in the arm that the housing market needed to ensure the encouraging signs that we have seen since lockdown was eased continue.
The move comes just four months after he gave his Spring Budget in March – filled with a £30billion economic package to try to protect the country from the economic impact of coronavirus.
Since then he’s splurged billions on the NHS, the huge furlough scheme, and several other big projects to keep the economic engine moving.
Another budget and spending review will come in the Autumn, he added.
And he vowed to “put our public finances back on a sustainable footing” -but gave no date for this.
Today’s ‘mini budget’ comes just after the Prime Minister’s “New Deal” speech – promising to plough more cash into building major infrastructure projects to create jobs and growth.
The Government wants to focus on young people, who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and are more likely to have lost or will lose their jobs.
At least 200,000 people have lost their jobs as part of the ongoing economic downturn, as a direct result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Government will also fund thousands of jobs for people who are out of work as part of stage two of their plans to bounce Britain back from coronavirus.
Under the £2billion Kickstart Scheme, the Government will pay towards six months of wage costs of each 16 to 24-year-old 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.
Employers will be able to offer a six-month work placement for people aged between 16 and 24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
An initial £2billion has been put aside for the scheme but the Treasury said it will increase the budget if there is high take-up.
The Sun also revealed this week the details of the new scheme to help boost a ‘green recovery’.
Hundreds of thousands of households will get the grants of up to £5,000 to make their homes more environmentally friendly.
Vouchers worth up to £10,000 will be available to some of the poorest families.
Homeowners will be able to spend the cash on loft, wall and floor insulation, eco-friendly boilers, heat pumps, double or triple-glazed windows, low-energy lighting and energy-efficient doors.
The scheme will go live in September and, according to Treasury estimates, will save families up to £600 a year on energy bills.
The grants will be part of a wider £3billion investment in green technology to be unveiled as the UK moves towards going carbon neutral by 2050.
The extra £1billion will be spent on revamping public buildings and social housing.
Every firm who hires an 18-24 year old trainee will get a £1,000 cash bonus, the Chancellor confirmed.
He pledged £111million to the scheme which will incentivise firms to take on and train young workers struggling to find a job.
Restaurant and pub bills will be slashed in half when you eat out as part of a new Government scheme that aims to boost the struggling tourism industry and economy.
Brits who dine out Monday to Wednesday in August will only have to pay for 50 per cent of the tab, the Chancellor announced.
The Government will cover the other half of the bill through the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, up to £10 per head, including children, to boost the hospitality industry.
It will save a family of four £40 off an £80 meal bill – a similar leisure scheme has never been tried in the UK before.