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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a new group of measures yesterday, 8 July, to help the UK’s recovery from the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Mr Sunak told the House of Commons he was “not just going to accept” rising unemployment and that although hardship lies ahead, “no one will be left without hope”.

He said that “Despite the extraordinary support we’ve already provided, we face profound economic challenges. World economic activity has slowed with the IMF expecting the deepest global recession since records began, household consumption – the biggest component of our economy – has fallen steeply, businesses have stopped trading and stopped hiring.

“Taken together, in just two months, our economy contracted by 25%, the same amount it grew in the previous 18 years.

“I want every person in this house, and in the country to know that I will never accept, unemployment, as an unavoidable outcome.

The measures include:

  • A jobs retention bonus of £1,000, per employee, for businesses bringing back employees from furlough. Employees will need to remain in employment until January 2020 and earn a minimum monthly amount.
  • A VAT cut from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors from next Wednesday, 15 July until 12 January
  • The “Eat out to Help Out” Scheme which will enable customers to receive 50% off meals during August at participating restaurants. Businesses will be able to register for this scheme from Monday 13
  • The kickstart scheme includes grants for employers to help create new jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds, and a further investment in apprenticeship schemes
  • Investing an additional £1billion in the Department of Work and Pensions to support people back into work
  • A £2bn green homes grant for homeowners and landlords to carry out works to make homes more energy efficient and help create local jobs
  • Stamp duty threshold increasing to £500,000

Further information is available from GOV.UK