Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged to unveil a cash injection worth £200 billion in order to help the economy recover after the coronavirus storm.
A £3 billion green package with grants for homeowners and public buildings to improve energy efficiency will be unveiled by Rishi Sunak as part of his coronavirus economic strategy.
The Resolution Foundation think tank is urging the Cabinet minister to further loosen the purse strings, having already announced a string of bailouts and wage subsidy and emergency loan schemes since the outbreak started, and announce a fiscal package worth 10% of GDP.
The government launched the coronavirus job retention scheme, allowing customers to be furloughed, in a huge announcement in March.
And today’s announcement from the Chancellor could have similar ramifications for millions and millions of Brits.
Seven things are expected to be announced today – from a high street voucher scheme to green schemes, and relief for businesses who are employing trainees.
Everyone gets a £500 voucher to spend on the high street
A £30 billion “high street voucher” scheme is also recommended.
The report authors said vouchers worth £500 per adult and £250 per child could be handed out to be spent in hard-hit sectors of the economy, such as face-to-face retail, hospitality and leisure.
A massive cut in stamp duty
Those hunting for a new property will be exempted from paying stamp duty for six months, it has been reported.
The property tax threshold could be increased as as high as £500,000 pounds in a bid to exempt most homebuyers from paying any stamp duty and kickstart the economy.
Boost to Univeral Credit
Universal Credit should also be boosted by £10 billion to support low-income families, according to the report.
Meanwhile, analysis from the Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) has suggested that urgent intervention is required to prevent 1.2 million people from falling into long-term unemployment when furlough ends in October.
The think tank is calling for a “turbocharged” right to retrain scheme, along with pitching for the state to pay 50% of wages for all young apprentices.
Andy Norman, research analyst at CPP said: “This isn’t just about fixing the failures and under funding of skills policy over the last 30 years, it’s about offering shop assistants, waiters and waitresses, and airline workers a realistic route to re-employment now.”
A bonus for companies who employ trainees
Over £100 million will be injected into trainee schemes for 18-24 year olds, giving companies £1,000 bonus per trainee under the £111 million scheme.
James Smith, research director at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The Covid-induced economic crisis is like no other crisis we’ve seen.
“And with interest rates already at record lows, the Chancellor will need to take the lead in delivering an ambitious policy response to secure Britain’s economic recovery.
“The measures the Chancellor announces in his mini-Budget tomorrow need to be big enough to reflect the size of the crisis we face, targeted at the sectors that need the most support, and flexible enough to cope with the uncertainties that lie ahead.
“A £200 billion fiscal stimulus should therefore focus on protecting jobs and supporting spending in hard-hit sectors of the economy, and reflect the fact that low-income households have found it far hardest to cope.”
A ‘Green Homes scheme’ that could help you pay for upgrades
Homeowners will receive £2 billion in financial incentives to insulate their homes as part of an economic recovery scheme set to be announced by the Chancellor.
The funding is part of an expected £3 billion green package Rishi Sunak will unveil on Wednesday to create jobs, upgrade buildings and protect the environment as part of efforts to rebuild the economy after Covid-19.
The scheme will also include a £1 billion programme to transform schools, hospitals and other public buildings so they are greener and more energy efficient.
According to The Sun, the Green Homes Grant scheme will allow households to receive vouchers worth up to £5,000 to use on environmentally-friendly additions such as insulation, low-energy lighting and energy-efficient doors.
Some of the nation’s poorest households will reportedly be able to access vouchers worth up to £10,000.
The paper reports the programme will commence in September and could save families up to £600 a year on energy bills, according to Treasury estimates.
The recovery package will also include £1 billion for public buildings to pay for measures such as insulation, efficiency and green heating technology to cut emissions and save energy in places such as schools, hospitals, military bases and prisons.
Funding of £50 million will go to pilot innovative schemes to retrofit social housing at scale, with measures including insulation, double glazing and heat pumps.
The Treasury said retrofits of social housing could save an average of £200 for some of the poorest households while cutting carbon emissions.
The £3 billion in green schemes aims to help the UK “build back greener” and meet its legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Campaigners have been urging ministers to deliver on the manifesto pledge to invest £9.2 billion in energy efficiency, to boost jobs across the UK, cut consumer bills and reduce carbon emissions as part of the pandemic recovery.
They said the funding being unveiled on Wednesday in the summer economic update was welcome as a “down payment”, but does not measure up to what is needed to tackle the climate and economic crises.
The statement from the Chancellor will also confirm the announcement made last week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that £40 million will be made available for nature conservation schemes.
Schemes to plant trees, clean up rivers and create new green spaces for people and wildlife could support up to 5,000 new jobs, the Government said.
Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said the plan was not comprehensive and claimed it leaves out one third of people.
“We have consistently called for a recovery which has energy efficiency at its heart, and will welcome any measures which achieve that,” he said.
“However, this is not a comprehensive plan. It appears there is almost nothing for the people who rent the 8.5 million homes in the social rented sector and private rented sector, which has the worst energy efficiency standards. That means one third of people are left out.
“It also needs to be part of a much broader and bigger scale strategy for getting back on track for net zero which includes a zero carbon army of young people getting back to work, investment in nature conservation, driving forward renewable energy, helping our manufacturers be part of the green transition and a plan for our transport network.
“The French government has promised 15 billion euros for a green recovery, the German government 40 billion euros. The UK government £3 billion so far. When the moment demands the Government creates the most ambitious green recovery possible, the Government has not so far risen to the challenge.”