Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave his Budget Statement to the House of
Commons on 3 March 2021. It focuses on measures to support
businesses and households affected by the Coronavirus pandemic
until roll-out of the vaccination programme enables current
restrictions on work and social interaction to be significantly
reduced, if not removed altogether.
The Budget included announcements on freezing the personal tax
allowances and gave notice of an increase in corporation tax from
2023 but did not include any significant new announcements relating
to public investment in social housing. However, there is a promise
to turn "Generation Rent" into "Generation Buy" with help for home
ownership in the form of a further extension of the freeze on Stamp
Duty and a new mortgage guarantee scheme to guarantee 95% mortgages
up to £600,000.
The Office for Budget responsibility estimates that the UK
economy shrank by 9.9% in 2020; it forecasts that the economy will
grow by 4% in 2021, and by 7.3% in 2021, returning to its
pre-pandemic size by the summer of next year. This is a more
optimistic forecast than that provided last autumn alongside the
Some key points:
- The furlough scheme will be extended for 6 months to 30
September, as will the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit.
- A one-off payment of £500 will be given to eligible Working Tax
Credit claimants across the UK.
- The temporary reduction in Stamp Duty Land Tax on homes worth
less than £500,000 has been extended to 30 June with a further
extension to 30 September for homes worth less than £250,000 before
returning to the previous cap of £125,000 on 1 October 2021.
- A new mortgage guarantee scheme available from April 2021
intended to help homebuyers access mortgages of up to £600,000 with
a 5% deposit. This scheme will provide a guarantee to lenders
across the UK who offer mortgages to people with a deposit of just
5% and will be available for new mortgages up to 31 December
- More details were also provided about the UK Infrastructure
Bank announced in the Spending Review 2020; the Bank will partner
with the private sector and local government to help tackle climate
change and promote economic growth across the country.
- Alongside the Budget, the Government published "Build Back Better: our plan for
growth", outlining how it hopes to achieve an economic
recovery through investment in infrastructure, skills and
- The Budget did not announce any new money for social
- £19 million towards tackling domestic abuse, including £15
million in 2021-22 to increase funding for perpetrator programmes
that work with offenders to reduce the risk of abuse continuing,
and £4 million between 2021-22 and 2022-23 to trial a network of
'Respite Rooms' across England to provide specialist support for
homeless women facing severe disadvantage.
- £150 million Community Ownership Fund will allow communities
across the UK to invest to protect the assets that matter most to
them such as pubs, theatres, shops, or local sports clubs.
- From June 2021, care leavers up to the age of 25 and those
under the age of 25 who have spent at least three months in a
homeless hostel will be exempt from the Shared Accommodation Rate
in Universal Credit.
Full details of all the announcements are available in the
Budget documents on the Government website.