Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, has welcomed the ‘Plan for Jobs’ that has been set out to help the UK’s economy recover from coronavirus and lockdown.
The Chancellor announced a package of measures during his Summer Economic Update in the House of Commons which will support jobs, give businesses the support they need and provide people with the tools needed to get better jobs and ensure they have good job prospects. The plan focuses on giving people the skills needed to support employment, helping young people access the workplace, creating jobs and ensuring the environment is being protected.
To support jobs, the following measures have been introduced:
- A Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers and all employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1000 for each furloughed employee still employed as of the 31st January 2021.
- A £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new and fully subsidised jobs for young people. Those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment will be eligible. Funding will be made available to cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week for each six-month job placement and employers can top this up.
- £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment for young people. Businesses will be given £2000 for each apprentice they hire under the age of 25, £111 million will be invested to triple the scale of traineeships and nearly £900 million will be invested to double the number of work coaches.
To create jobs, the following measures have been introduced:
- Tens of thousands of jobs will be created as work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure and decarbonisation is brought forward. This includes a £3 billion green investment package that will help support around 140,000 green jobs.
- Homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for vouchers from a Green Homes Grant to pay for green improvements that will create thousands of jobs for tradespeople.
- £1 billion will be invested in making public buildings greener.
- £5.7 billion will be spent on ‘shovel-ready’ construction projects, which will include hospital maintenance and upgrades, road improvements, school improvements and court maintenance and repair.
To protect jobs, the following measures have been introduced:
- An Eat Out to Help Out scheme will provide a 50% reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs from Monday-Wednesday every week in August.
- VAT on tourism and hospitality activities will be cut from 20% to 5%. This will support over 2.4 million staff at over 150,000 businesses.
- There will be a temporary increase on the Nil Rate Band of Stamp Duty from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31st March 2021.
Commenting, Richard said ‘I am simply delighted that such wide-ranging measures have been introduced – these measures will protect our economy, our workers and our businesses by giving them the support they need. We are asking all employers to look after their employees and support young people, and we in turn will support them to ensure the recovery works for everyone. The new measures also support our environmental policies by ensuring that we are focused on a green recovery. Our tourism and hospitality industries in North West Durham will receive all the support they need to thrive post-lockdown. I will continue to work with and for all my constituents as we look towards the future and will ensure that everyone has access to the support they deserve.’
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