politics

Budget 2021 news LATEST: Rishi Sunak to hand pubs cash injection as stamp duty extension to see house prices soar


House prices rocketed 6.9% year-on-year last month to a record high of £231,061 last month, new data shows.

Month-on-month house prices rose by 0.7% boosted by an anticipated extension of the stamp duty holiday during tomorrow’s Budget.

Robert Gardner of Nationwide told the Telegraph: “This increase is a surprise. It seemed more likely that annual price growth would soften further ahead of the end of the stamp duty holiday, which prompted many people considering a house move to bring forward their purchase.”

The news comes as pubs and football clubs are to be given a £1million cash injection to help keep them afloat after the pandemic.

The Chancellor will use the Budget to pledge a whopping £150 million to help neighbourhoods take over assets loved by the community.

He said: “Pubs and sports clubs are the heart and soul of our local towns and villages – they’re the glue that keeps us together. This fund will help to ensure vital local institutions aren’t lost to those who treasure them most.”

The Chancellor will reveal the country’s spending plan tomorrow – the first since coronavirus‘ devastating impact on the economy became clear and the first since the Brexit transition period came to an end.

The Budget is due to take place at around 12.30pm, once Prime Minster’s Questions ends in the House of Commons.

  • CONTINUED

    He warned the country can’t “go on spending money forever” but suggested significant tax rises and cuts won’t come until later on this year.

    Mr Kwarteng said: “We have got another three years to run in the parliament and the Chancellor will be looking to reduce the deficit.

    “For now, I think the real emphasis is on trying to provide critical support.”

    He added: “Obviously we have to balance the books over time, but I am a low tax Conservative and the real key is to grow the economy.

    “The best remedy for the deficit is to open up the economy, allow people to get on with their lives, allow businesses to start trading again.

    “If we stick to the road map there’s every chance that the second half of this year will see the economy grow. Through that growth I think we’ll be able to tackle the deficit.”

  • TAXING TIMES

    Brits need to brace for tax rises to get the nation’s finances back in the pink, a top Tory has warned ahead of Rishi Sunak’s budget tomorrow.

    William Hague, who is a close ally of the chancellor, said levies on businesses and individuals “have to go up” to pay off the pandemic debt pile.

    And he warned MPs who oppose tax rises because of the current economic climate are buying into “dangerous illusions”.

    His intervention on the eve of the budget will be seen as a clear indication of Mr Sunak’s determination to press ahead with new levies.

    This morning the business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitted the Treasury will need to start clawing back the cash spent on schemes like furlough.

  • EXPLAINER – HOW DOES THE STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY HELP THE ECONOMY?

    The Treasury announced the stamp duty holiday in a bid to breathe life into the property market after it effectively froze during the first lockdown with viewings, sales and moves suspended.

    Experts said a stamp duty holiday would encourage more home owners to move, helping to kickstart economic activity in other sectors.

    Recent data from HMRC shows stamp duty receipts hit £6.7billion by the end of January.

    This means the last four months’ receipts are at 82% of normal levels in comparison to last year’s levels despite the tax holiday.

    This could mean that only small changes may be needed in the Budget to get tax revenue from stamp duty back on track.

  • SUNAK TO FOCUS HIS BUDGET ON SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES, KWARTENG SAYS

    Rishi Sunak will focus on “critical support” for businesses and households in his Budget rather than immediate efforts to balance the books, a Cabinet colleague indicated.

    The Chancellor has said his address to MPs on Wednesday will be characterised by “honesty and fairness”, indicating he will set out how he intends to begin the task of repairing the public finances which have been battered by coronavirus.

    Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng played down the prospect of immediate large tax increases but said Mr Sunak had acknowledged the country could not “go on spending money forever”.

    “For now, what we have to do is support businesses, individuals, families, through what has been an extremely difficult time,” he told BBC Breakfast.

    “We have got another three years to run in the parliament and the Chancellor will be looking to reduce the deficit.

    “For now, I think the real emphasis is on trying to provide critical support.”

  • WILL THE STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY BE EXTENDED?

    Mr Sunak is expected to make an announcement on the stamp duty holiday in the Budget on March 3.

    Mr Sunak has previously said to be reluctant as he looks for ways to pay the huge Covid bill, which was at nearly £300billion in January.

    Although the nine-month stamp duty holiday may have sparked a mini-boom in the housing market, it has cost taxpayers an estimated £3.3billion.

    Buyers looking to take advantage of the scheme before the deadline may well have missed their opportunity to get their sale completed in time.

    Another industry expert warned in early November that half of house sales agreed from then will miss the stamp duty discount deadline.

  • EXPLAINER – WHEN DOES THE STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY END?

    The stamp duty holiday is due to expire on March 31, 2021.

    But there have been calls for the Chancellor to extend this deadline to prevent 100,000 property sales from falling through.

    Mr Sunak is expected to make an announcement about the future of the schemes in this week’s Budget.

    The government’s plans for spending and the economy will be revealed in his speech taking place on Wednesday, March 3.

  • BUSINESS BOOST

    Rishi Sunak will give a £520million “shot in the arm” to Britain’s army of small businesses to help the nation recover from the Covid recession.

    The Chancellor wants to use the cash to help small firms act like City giants so they get a bigger slice of lucrative online sales.

    Under the ‘Help to Grow’ scheme, which will be unveiled in Wednesday’s Budget, businesses will get up to £5,000 in vouchers to help improve their IT and become more productive. They will also be able to get management training from Britain’s world-beating business schools.

    Mr Sunak said: “Our brilliant SMEs are the backbone of our economy, creating jobs and generating prosperity – so it’s vital they can access the tools they need to succeed “Help to Grow will ensure they are embracing the latest technology and management training, fuelling our Plan for Jobs by boosting productivity in all corners of the UK.”

  • CONTINUED

    And Paul Nowak, Deputy General Secretary at TUC, added: “Young people have borne the brunt of the job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and we need an urgent plan to make sure this experience doesn’t scar their future.”

    At the weekend the Chancellor announced that the cash bonus scheme for hiring young apprenticeships is set to double to £3,000.
    And it will be extended by six months to help get more young people back to work.

  • RISHI ECO PLEA

    Rishi Sunak must use tomorrow’s Budget to create 250,000 green apprenticeships, eco-campaigners have urged.

    Friends of the Earth said the Chancellor could tackle both climate change and soaring youth unemployment in one “double whammy”.

    The Chancellor is under pressure to use his last Budget before the COP26 climate change conference to push a raft of eco-changes through.

    The charity calls for a green apprenticeship programme to be run alongside other schemes from the DWP, Department for Education and Treasury.

    Denis Fernando, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said it would “prevent a new wave of youth unemployment while helping the UK towards a more climate-friendly future.”

  • HOME BUY AID

    First-time buyers and current homeowners will be able to get mortgages on properties up to £600,000 with five per cent deposits.

    On Wednesday the government will outline to lenders how it will guarantee the other 95 per cent.

    PM Boris Johnson said: “I want generation rent to become generation buy.

    “Young people shouldn’t feel excluded from the chance of owning their own home.”

    Here’s what we know about the scheme so far.

  • TAX HIKE PLEA

    Ex-Chancellor Ken Clarke urged Rishi Sunak to consider an income tax rise even though it would break a Tory manifesto vow.

    He told the BBC: “Sensible people know in their bones all this emergency government spending is going to have to be paid for and is going to be a burden on them.

    “Authors of the manifesto had no idea this massive economic blow was about to hit.”

  • BERR BILL CHEER

    Beer duty is expected to be frozen to give pubs a flying start when lockdown is lifted.

    Tory colleagues have urged the Chancellor to slash 2p off the price of a pint.

    But sources say he will resist that but consider higher rates on supermarket booze.

    Conservative MP Jane Stevenson said: “Landlords have gone above and beyond. A cut in beer duty would be warmly welcomed.”

  • EXPLAINER – WHAT IS THE BUDGET?

    The Budget is when the government outlines its plans for tax hikes, cuts and things like changes to Universal Credit and the minimum wage.

    It’s different to the Spending Review, which sets out how much public cash will go towards funding certain departments, devolved government’s and services, such as the NHS.

    The Budget is read out in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It will be Rishi Sunak’s second Budget as Chancellor.

    Mr Sunak’s first Budget in March last year was dubbed the “coronavirus Budget” after it focused on supporting Brits financially through the crisis, rather than the government’s “levelling up” agenda as promised in the 2019 general election.

    Normally, the Budget is held once a year but the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic in 2020 saw Mr Sunak give a “mini-budget” in the Commons on July 8.

  • EXPLAINER – WHEN IS THE BUDGET?

    The Budget will be held on Wednesday March 3, 2021. The government confirmed the date in December 2020.

    It is scheduled on the parliament website to take place after Prime Minister’s Questions.

    PMQs usually lasts around half an hour so the Budget will start just after 12.30pm.

    It may be later if PMQs overruns and time is often given to allow MPs to enter the House of Commons chambers.

    There is also a short break as the Budget is traditionally chaired by the principal Deputy Speaker rather than the Speaker of the House of Commons.

  • BUSINESS SECRETARY SIGNALS RISHI WILL ANNOUNCE FURTHER FURLOUGH EXTENSION

    Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has signalled that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce a further extension of the furlough scheme in the Budget on Wednesday.

    Mr Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast: “I think the Chancellor has already indicated that we will be extending furlough.

    “I think that has been part of a public announcement. I think there will be other measures that we will see tomorrow.”

  • TAX HIKES

    Conservative Party leaders have said taxes would have to be hiked as part of Britain’s Covid recovery following 12 months of heavy public borrowing to pay for furlough and other Government support efforts.

    Lord Hague, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said: “It pains me to say, after spending much of my life arguing for lower taxes, that we have reached the point where at least some business and personal taxes have to go up.”

    The former foreign secretary, who Mr Sunak succeeded as MP for Richmond (Yorks) in 2015, said those who opposed some form of tax rises in the current climate were buying into “dangerous illusions”.

  • CULTURE BID

    The Chancellor will provide more than £400 million of additional support for the badly hit culture sector in his Budget on Wednesday, as a Tory grandee warned taxes would “have to go up”.

    Rishi Sunak is preparing to hand out £408 million to help museums, theatres and galleries in England to reopen once coronavirus restrictions start to ease in the coming months.

    Many theatres have not been able to open their doors since March 2020.

    In a slew of pre-Budget teasers, Treasury officials also said Mr Sunak will use his fiscal package on Wednesday to give a “significant chunk” of a £300 million sports recovery package to cricket as fans prepare to return to stadiums this summer.

  • WHEN IS RISHI SUNAK’S PRESS CONFERENCE?

    Rishi Sunak will give a press conference at 5pm on Wednesday after delivering his Budget to the nation.

    The Chancellor revealed he will take questions from the public and the press after his statement in the House of Commons, which usually takes place at around 12.30pm.

    He is expected to give the nation an update on the latest finances, after the Treasury has spent billions trying to keep the economy afloat this year through the pandemic.

  • BORIS SAYS BUDGET 2021 WILL BUILD ON EVERYTHING WE’VE DONE

    Boris Johnson said he was confident the Budget would “build on everything we have done” to look after businesses and the public throughout the coronavirus crisis.

    “I’m not going to anticipate what the Chancellor is going to say on Wednesday,” the Prime Minister told reporters.

    “But I am absolutely confident that it will be a Budget that builds on everything we have done to look after the businesses and the people of this country throughout the pandemic.

    “But that also paves the way for a strong, jobs-led recovery. That’s what our focus is going to be on.”

  • FOOTBALL CRAZY, FOOTBALL MAD

    Boris Johnson has offered up Britain’s stadiums to host a “bonanza” decade of football.

    The move would be a welcome boost to morale to footy fans who have been deprived of the beautiful game, but also a massive injection to the economy.

    The European Championship semi-finals and final are already pencilled in for Wembley in July but temporary teetotaller Mr Johnson said last night: “Any other matches they want hosted, we are certainly on for that!”

    In an exclusive interview with The Sun, the Prime Minister said: “We are very, very keen to bring football home in 2030. I do think it’s the right place.

    “It’s the home of football, it’s the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country.”

  • BUDGET 2021: BEER DUTY EXPECTED TO BE FROZEN TO HELP PUBS POST LOCKDOWN

    Beer duty is expected to be frozen to give pubs a flying start when lockdown is lifted.

    Tory colleagues have urged the Chancellor to slash 2p off the price of a pint.

    But sources say he will resist that but consider higher rates on supermarket booze.

    Conservative MP Jane Stevenson said: “Landlords have gone above and beyond. A cut in beer duty would be warmly welcomed.

  • WHEN IS THE BUDGET 2021?

    The Budget will be held on Wednesday March 3, 2021. The government confirmed the date in December 2020.

    It is scheduled on the parliament website to take place after Prime Minister’s Questions.

    PMQs usually lasts around half an hour so the Budget will start just after 12.30pm.

    It may be later if PMQs overruns and time is often given to allow MPs to enter the House of Commons chambers.

    There is also a short break as the Budget is traditionally chaired by the principal Deputy Speaker rather than the Speaker of the House of Commons.

  • GOVERNMENT URGED TO RECONSIDER LIMITS ON NEW DRIVERS

    Ministers have been urged to reconsider whether to impose limits on what new drivers can do on the road.

    The Commons Transport Select Committee recommended that research into the consequences of graduated driving licences (GDLs) should resume, as there is evidence they can be “effective in reducing crash rates”.

    GDLs place restrictions on drivers for a set time period after they pass their test, such as banning the carriage of passengers, curfews, lower alcohol limits and mandatory “P” plates.

    They are used in several countries including the US, Canada, Australia and Sweden.

    The Department for Transport announced in July 2019 that it was considering introducing GDLs in England.

  • CHANCELLOR SAYS HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY ‘REMAINS UPPERMOST IN MY MIND’

    Treasury sources told The Sun that the extension for the hospitality industry was deemed part of the pandemic package and would continue until the end of the lockdown exit plan which will see outdoor hospitality open on April 12.

    Mr Sunak yesterday reassured the industry he was looking out for them, after hearing from campaigning pub landlord and ex-model Jodie Kidd.

    He said on Times Radio: “It’s because I care about that industry and the people who work in it that I want to try and do what I can for those jobs.

    “They should feel reassured they remain uppermost in my mind.”

  • “IRRELEVANT AND UNNECESSARY”

    Boris Johnson has branded Nicola Sturgeon’s pleas for another Scottish referendum “completely in-apposite, irrelevant, uncalled for and unnecessary.”

    Instead the PM argued the Covid crisis had actually boosted the case for Scotland and England sticking together.

    He told The Sun: “The value of the Union has been massively underscored during this pandemic.

    “I think most people looking at the way the UK has responded with the vaccine rollout can see the huge value of us working together as one United Kingdom.

    “The UK armed forces and NHS distribution of the vaccine throughout one country has been fantastic,” he added.





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