Displaying items by tag: budget 2021
With lives and livelihoods still at risk, Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget is focused on short-term support for people's jobs and finances.
But there are signs of what will happen next and how this will affect the money in your pocket.
1. Paying the wages of those on furlough
Although it was announced in advance, like many other key measures, the extension of furlough is significant for millions of people.
The scheme - which pays 80% of employees' wages for the hours they cannot work in the pandemic - has been extended until September.
Young and lower-paid people have been among the most likely to have been furloughed during the pandemic.
While this is designed to protect their jobs from redundancy, many will have found that their income has been a fifth less than they had anticipated over the course of 18 months.
The National Living Wage will rise to £8.91 from April, from £8.72. That is a 2.2% rise and will be for people aged 23 and over.
2. Jabs, then jobs
Money promised for the vaccine rollout does not directly affect the amount of money that goes into the pockets of individuals.
But the extra £1.65bn to help vaccinate every adult by the end of July should mean people can get back to work and the economy can start to recover.
Quicker jabs mean more jobs protected, which means that incomes can recover or be maintained.
3. Support for the self-employed
Furlough supports employed people. The equivalent for the self-employed comes in the form of grants through the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
From next month, claims can be made for a fourth grant worth 80% of three months' average trading profits, up to £7,500 in total.
This will then be followed by a fifth grant later in the year, covering May to September.
However, the amount paid will depend on the amount of turnover lost. People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a grant that is equivalent to 30% of average trading profits.
While many self-employed people remain ineligible - the source of considerable debate - those who can show they were trading in 2019-20 from their tax returns will now be eligible for the first time. They can receive the fourth and fifth grants.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged to use the Budget to change the financial system to better protect the environment.
One group wants him to impose a carbon tax and use the proceeds to protect the poor from high energy bills.
A second petition is calling for Bank of England rules to encourage banks not to invest in fossil fuels.
Mr Sunak is expected anyway to update the Bank’s mandate to include a greater focus on climate.
But campaigners want the new wording to stop the Bank from supporting fossil fuel firms through schemes such as its £20bn corporate bond purchase programme, which involves buying debt issued by firms such as Shell and BP.
The Bank responded to similar calls in January by saying that it has "an ambitious work programme on climate change, from the stress testing of the largest UK banks and insurers against climate-related financial risks through to working internationally with the central bank network for greening the financial system".
Some campaigners also want the Bank to work with the Treasury in funding a National Infrastructure Bank investing in sustainable industries.
The petition comes from Positive Money, a not-for-profit organisation claiming 65,000 supporters that was set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis and is funded by trusts and foundations.
One campaigner, Hannah Dewhirst, said: “The Bank and the financial system it regulates is currently funding catastrophic climate breakdown, which will again see ordinary people paying the price of bankers’ recklessness."
Anna Vickerstaff, another campaigner for the climate group 350.org, said: “British banks are the worst in Europe for funding fossil fuels.
“Banks operating in the UK are fuelling the climate crisis by financing fossil fuel projects from Argentina to Mozambique.”
The petition comes after MPs on the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) last week called on the government to add climate and nature objectives to the Bank’s mandate.