At a glance: Key points from Budget 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised to help families meet the rising cost of living.

Rishi Sunak delivers his Budget to the House of Commons in London
Rishi Sunak delivers his Budget to the House of Commons in London

Here are the main points from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget:

– The Budget is focused on the “post-Covid” era, according to the Chancellor, and will pave the way for the “Prime Minister’s economy of higher wages, higher skills, and rising productivity”.

– Independent forecaster the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has scaled down its assumption of the scarring effect of Covid-19 on the economy from 3% to 2%, Mr Sunak told the Commons.

– The OBR has downgraded its unemployment forecast due to the coronavirus pandemic from 12% down to 5.2%, the Chancellor told MPs.

– The minimum wage will increase to to £9.50 an hour next year, up from the current £8.91.

– The Universal Credit taper rate will be cut by 8% from no later than December 1, bringing it down from 63% to 55%.

– Alcohol duty is being “radically” simplified by introducing a system designed around the principle of “the stronger the drink, the higher the rate”.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

– A “draught relief” will apply a lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider, cutting the tax by 5% on drinks served from draught containers over 40 litres and bringing the price of a pint down by 3p.

– A planned rise in fuel duty will be cancelled because of pump prices being at their highest level in eight years.

– Flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty from April 2023.

– Every Whitehall department will receive a “real terms rise in overall spending” as part of the Spending Review, the Chancellor said, amounting to £150 billion over this Parliament.

– Mr Sunak confirmed a levy will be placed on property developers with profits over £25 million at a rate of 4% to help create a £5 billion fund to remove unsafe cladding.

Budget 2021
Rishi Sunak said every Whitehall department will receive a “real terms rise in overall spending” (Jacob King/PA)

– Devolved administrations will be given the “largest block grants” since 1998, with an increase to Scottish Government funding in each year by an average of £4.6 billion, £2.5 billion for the Welsh Government, and £1.6 billion for the Northern Ireland Executive.

– An extra £2.2 billion has been announced for courts, prisons and probation services, including £500 million to reduce the courts backlogs.

– £300 million will go towards “A Start for Life” parenting programmes, with an extra £170 million by 2024/25 going into paying for childcare.

– The Chancellor said core science funding will rise to £5.9 billion a year by 2024-25, a cash increase of 37%.

– A new 50% business rates discount will apply in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, with eligible businesses able to claim a discount on their bills of up to a maximum of £110,000.

– Ahead of the Budget statement, £7 billion transport funding was announced for areas including Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and South Yorkshire for projects ranging from tram improvements to introducing London-style improvements in infrastructure, but only £1.5 billion of this was believed to be “new” funding.

– A £6 billion package of funding will help tackle NHS backlogs and invest in technology was also trailed ahead of the statement.

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