The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has set out the Government’s plan to support businesses, create jobs and give young people more access to job opportunities.
Mid Worcestershire MP, Nigel Huddleston, has welcomed the Plan for Jobs, the proposals to support the tourism and hospitality sector, and proposals to boost the housing market, saying it provides much-needed support to businesses across Worcestershire.
The economic response to the outbreak of coronavirus has been set out by the Chancellor in three stages. The first was to protect businesses and jobs in the immediate crisis through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has supported over 13,000 jobs in the Mid Worcestershire constituency.
The Chancellor has now set out the second phase which focuses on helping people find jobs, creating new jobs through investment, and protecting jobs in the hardest hit sectors. To encourage employers to retain staff who have been on the furlough scheme, the Government will be giving a one-off bonus of £1,000 for every employee who has been furloughed and who is successfully kept on until January. To help young people find new jobs, the Kickstart Scheme will directly pay businesses to create high-quality jobs for any 16-24 year old at risk of long-term unemployment and there will be funding available to cover the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, for 6 months, working out as around £6,500 per placement. The Chancellor has stated that there will be no cap on the number of places available. To help people find work, the Government also sets out to double the number of work coaches and triple the number of sector-based work academy placements to provide skills and interview training.
For those working in the hospitality & tourism industry, VAT for hospitality, accommodation visitor and attractions will be cut from 20% to 5% for the next 6 months. In the Mid Worcestershire area alone, over 500 businesses will benefit from this reduction. To encourage locals to support these businesses, the Chancellor also set out the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, which entitles everyone to a discount of up to 50% on the meal, up to £10 a person on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August.
Nigel Huddleston said: “As restrictions have been loosened over the last few weeks I am already seeing more people out and about across the constituency spending money, but we need to do even more to help businesses particularly hit hard by Coronavirus and to boost consumer demand further.
"In my capacity as Minister for Tourism, I know that the cuts in VAT will be a huge help to hospitality and tourism businesses across the country. The ‘Eat out to Help Out’ scheme is also an innovative policy that will help local hospitality businesses and help local families become comfortable with going out again in a safe environment. As we reopen our economy, it’s so important to support, protect and create jobs and I believe the latest policies set out by the Chancellor will be a lifeline for many people and businesses in Worcestershire.”