We are providing you with another Wrexham Council Business and Investment Team update.
New £4m funding for grassroots sports clubs now open for applications. Click here for more details.
Phase two of the Economic Resilience Fund and the first round of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme have ended. Further information about the Resilience Fund is here and the Income Support Scheme here.
UK Government Summer Economic Update
In last week’s Summer Economic Update, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirmed that the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme would wind down flexibly and gradually. Ending in October 2020. He also announced a range of measures aimed at supporting, protecting and creating jobs. Some of the announcements made were for England only (which we have not included below). We will, of course, continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.
Jobs Retention Bonus
- The Government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 a month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021. Payments made from February 2021. Further details about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.
- A new ‘Kickstart Scheme’ will be available. A £2 billion fund to create six-month work placements for those between 16 and 24 who are on Universal Credit. These are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding for each job will cover 100 per cent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week. Plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
Expanded Youth Offer
- The Government will increase the support offered by the Department for Work and Pensions in Great Britain to young job seekers. This includes all those aged 18-24 in the Intensive Work Search Group in Universal Credit.
Enhanced work search support
- The Government will provide £895 million to enhance work search support by doubling the number of work coaches in Jobcentre Plus before the end of the financial year across Great Britain.
Expansion of the Work and Health Programme
- Up to £95 million will be provided this year to expand the scope of the Work and Health Programme in Great Britain. This introduces voluntary support in the autumn for those on benefits that have been jobless for more than three months. This expansion will have no impact on the existing provision for those with illnesses or disabilities in England and Wales.
Job-finding support service
- £40 million will be provided to fund private sector capacity to introduce a job-finding support service in Great Britain in the autumn. This one-to-one service helps those who have been jobless for less than three months, increase their chances of finding employment.
Flexible Support Fund
- The Government will increase the funding for the Flexible Support Fund by £150 million in Great Britain. This funding will increase the capacity of the Rapid Response Service. It will also provide local support to claimants by removing barriers to work, such as travel expenses for attending interviews.
Eat Out to Help Out
- The Chancellor announced the introduction of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out scheme’ to encourage people to return to eating out. This will entitle every diner to a 50 per cent discount of up to £10 per head on their meal. This will consider any participating restaurants, cafés, pubs or other eligible food-service establishments. The discount can be used multiple times. It will be valid Monday to Wednesday on an eat-in meal (including on non-alcoholic drinks) for the entire month of August. Participating establishments will be fully reimbursed for the 50 per cent discount.
Temporary VAT cut for food and non-alcoholic drinks
- The reduced (5 per cent) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises across the UK. This measure will support businesses and jobs in the hospitality sector and will run from 15 July to 12 January. The HMRC will publish further guidance on the scope of this relief in the coming days.
Temporary VAT cut for accommodation and attractions
- From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, to support businesses and jobs, the reduced (5 per cent) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK. The HMRC will publish further guidance on the scope of this relief in the coming days..
Green Homes Grant
- There will be a £2 billion Green Homes Grant, providing at least £2 for every £1 homeowners and landlords spend to make their homes more energy-efficient (up to £5,000 per household). For those on the lowest incomes, the scheme will fully fund energy efficiency measures of up to £10,000 per family. In total, this could support over 100,000 green jobs and help strengthen a supply chain. The Government hopes it will help meet their target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The scheme aims to upgrade over 600,000 homes across England to save money on their energy bills.
Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme
- The Clean Growth Strategy set out the Government’s ambition to halve greenhouse gas emissions from the public sector by 2032. To help achieve this and support economic recovery, the Government will invest £1 billion over the next year in a Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. It will offer grants to public sector bodies, including schools and hospitals, to fund energy efficiency and low-carbon heat upgrades.
Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund
- The Government will establish a new Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to help social landlords improve the least energy-efficient social rented homes, starting with a £50 million demonstrator project in 2020-21 to decarbonise social housing. This should lower annual energy bills for low-income households.