Over the past year I have been calling for a long term plan to ease restrictions, protect those most affected by the pandemic, and to allow businesses and households to plan for the months and years ahead. I am delighted that the Budget announced today by the Chancellor delivers on this, ensuring support while pandemic restrictions remain in place, and setting out an ambitious vision for economic growth.
On continued support, the Chancellor announced that both the furlough and self-employed income support schemes would be extended until September, with up to 600,000 newly self employed being able to access support. The Universal Credit uplift will be extended for 6 months to ensure those on the lowest incomes continue to receive this support while the effects of the pandemic are still felt. In Runnymede and Weybridge roughly 15,000 people benefitted from furlough and 5000 from the Self Income Support Scheme and I have heard from many what a lifeline this has been.
For businesses there will be a £5bn Restart Grant Scheme, a new Recovery Loan Scheme, continuation of the VAT cut for hospitality and tourism industries, and continued business rate relief for 750,000 businesses in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors. Combined, this support is tailored to ensure those sectors most affected by the pandemic continue to receive the greatest support.
Support for the housing sector will also continue with the stamp duty holiday extended and a new mortgage guarantee scheme being introduced to help people get on the property ladder.
The Budget also set out ambitious plans to encourage growth and investment to help our economy bounce back quicker and stronger. In the biggest announcement, a new super-deduction will see companies who invest being able to reduce their subsequent tax bill by 130% of the investment value. The investment this will encourage will in turn boost jobs and the wider economy.
As a doctor and scientist I was also delighted with the announcement of a further £1.65 billion to ensure the continued success of our vaccination programme and ongoing research; a £375 million Future Fund to invest in highly innovative companies, such as those working in life sciences, quantum computing, or clean tech; and funding for a range of schemes designed to encourage and support efforts to tackle climate change and support our aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Combined with reforms to our immigration system to attract the best and brightest talent to the UK, these measures build on and further support our world leading science, tech and green industries, setting out a clear and ambitious plan for the future UK economy.
I’ve spoken to families and businesses across Runnymede and Weybridge regarding the impact the pandemic has had on them. This is a local budget that will provide real help and support for families in Runnymede and Weybridge. We have many companies locally which are poised the take advantages that the super-deduction and investment in innovation creating jobs and supporting our local economy. As restrictions lift we are ready to get going.