Menzies LLP

GUEST ARTICLE: Sunak statement a boost, but only time will tell if it’s enough

  • 9 Jul 2020

Rebecca Wilkinson, tax expert and sector specialist at accountancy firm, Menzies LLP, has reacted to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s Summer Statement.

“The Summer Economic Update was generally good news for the property and construction sector with the Chancellor recognising it as one of the most important sectors for job creation.

In addition to grants which will generally be made available to all businesses to bring workers back from furlough and to create new jobs, several specific property and construction sector measures were outlined.

For the construction sector, plans were announced to accelerate £5 billion of infrastructure investment projects which will focus on building better roads, schools, hospitals and high streets across the country.

These projects are part of already planned capital funding of £88 billion which was announced earlier this year, but which will now commence earlier than originally anticipated in order to boost the economy.

For the housing sector, the Chancellor announced a £2 billion Green Homes Grant which will enable homeowners and landlords to make homes more energy efficient.

These grants will cover improvements of up to £5,000 per household or up to £10,000 per household for low income families and should encourage homeowners to invest in their properties, thus creating jobs.

Continuing the green theme, additional funding of £1 billion will be made available to improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings and a further £50 million to fund work towards decarbonising social housing. This should again create jobs and encourage the development of green technologies.

Finally, a temporary increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021 is hoped to re-invigorate the housing market as it will eliminate SDLT on a significant number of homes, making them more affordable for purchasers.

Only time will tell whether these measures will get people back to work and ensure job losses are minimised.”

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