8 July 2020  /  By Andrew Ellinas LL.B.

Chancellor's July Statement

Stamp duty holiday

The chancellor has announced an immediate temporary holiday on stamp duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland, to run until 31 March next year.

The levy is paid on land or property sold for £125,000 or more – although first-time buyers pay no tax up to £300,000.

Help for the hospitality sector

The government will give everyone 50% off meals in participating restaurants during August. The discount will go up to £10 per head for adults and children, and apply Monday to Wednesday. The scheme is designed to help people "Eat Out to Help Out" the hospitality sector.

The Chancellor said that the hospitality sector has been particularly badly hit and therefore VAT will be cut from from 20% to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions from next Wednesday until January 12th.

He also said he would cut VAT from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors from 15 July until 12 January.

Employment

The government will give companies £2,000 each to encourage them to hire apprentices and firms will also get £1,500 for apprentices over 25. £1bn will be given to the Department of Work and Pensions to help job seekers and the number of staff who work in job centres will be doubled.

Until now, non-resident buyers have been subject to the same stamp duty rules as buyers living in the UK, ranging from 0 per cent for properties costing less than £125,000 up to 12 per cent for homes over £1.5 million.

There will also be "a new jobs retention bonus" of £1,000 for employers who bring back employees who were furloughed and continued to be employ until January.

Green Home Grant
The Chancellor announced a £2bn Green Homes Grant under which homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for vouchers to make their homes more energy efficient and create local jobs. The grants will cover at least two thirds of the cost, up to £5,000 per household and there will also be up to £1bn of funding to improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings.

 

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