Robert Welcomes the Chancellor's 'Plan for Jobs'

The ‘Plan for Jobs’ announced by the Chancellor this afternoon is great news for businesses and workers in West Oxfordshire.

The Plan, worth up to £30 billion, will help to protect existing jobs, create new jobs, and support people into jobs. It also supports businesses by revitalising the sectors hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The new Jobs Retention Bonus Scheme will encourage employers to support and retain their workforce once the furlough scheme ends, with a one-off payment of £1,000 to the business for every employee who was furloughed previously and who is successfully kept on continuously until January. The Chancellor’s message to business was clear: if you stand by your employees, the Government will stand by you.

Tourism and hospitality businesses in West Oxfordshire will particularly welcome the temporary cut in VAT, giving a much-needed boost to some of the industries hardest hit by Coronavirus. From 15 July 2020, the Government will cut the rate of VAT applied across the UK to hospitality, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5% until 12 January 2021. This could support almost 2 million businesses and protect 2.5 million jobs.

The Chancellor also announced the launch of a new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme – something that has never been done in this country before – giving people up to 50% off meals out, encouraging them back into restaurants, cafes and pubs. Anyone who eats at a participating business, Monday to Wednesday for the month of August, can receive up to 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to a value of £10 per person. Businesses can claim the money back from the Government weekly, receiving funds within 5 working days.

Additional measures announced include:

  • Temporarily scrapping stamp duty on all homes under £500,000 to catalyse the housing market and boost confidence – helping to drive growth and create jobs.
  • Upgrading the energy efficiency of homes across England through a new Green Homes Grant, saving people hundreds of pounds on their energy bills, while helping to meet our goal of Net-Zero by 2050.
  • Creating hundreds of thousands of new fully subsidised jobs for young people through a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, to give young people the best chance of getting a job.
  • Paying businesses £1,000 to take on Trainees, with triple the number of places there are now, to get young people ready for work.
  • Providing £2,000 to employers for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, helping more people into the workplace while developing key skills.
  • Expanding the support on offer to help people find a job, so they can get back on their feet and into work. This includes doubling the number of Work Coaches through Job Centre Plus to 27,000.

Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, the Government has put in place a £160 billion plan to protect people’s jobs, incomes and businesses – one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. And the analysis, published today, shows the Chancellor’s interventions significantly protected people’s incomes and jobs.

The first phase of the plan was about protection. It is now time to focus on jobs, and there will come a third phase – which is the moment for rebuilding. The Government will produce a Budget and a Spending Review in the autumn.