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2021 UK Budget Breakdown: Protecting Jobs and Livelihoods

On the 3rd of March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced the government’s 2021 budget. This budget consists of five key components: Economic recovery, protecting jobs and livelihoods, strengthening the public finances, COVID19 relief and devolved nations. Over the coming days, we will be looking at each of these components individually. This post will look at the budget's plan for protecting jobs and livelihoods.


Protecting Jobs and Livelihoods


  • An extension of the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (‘Furlough’) to September 2021

  • An Extension of the UK-wide Self Employment Income Support scheme to September 2021

  • An extension to the temporary cut in Stamp Duty Land Tax in England and Northern Ireland until September

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax that you have to pay if you buy a property or land over a certain price.

  • This policy is aimed at supporting the housing market and protect and create new jobs

  • A new mortgage guarantee scheme will enable all UK homebuyers to secure a mortgage up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit

  • A £5 billion for new Restart Grants

  • A one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England

  • A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme

  • Make loans between £25,001 and £10 million and asset and invoice finance between £1000 and £10 million

  • To help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery

  • Extension of the Film & TV Production Restart scheme in the UK, with an additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund.

  • Extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive in England to September 2021 and an increase of payment to £3,000.

  • £7 million for a new “flexi-job” apprenticeship programme in England, that will enable apprentices to work with a number of employers in one sector.

  • Additional £126 million for 40,000 more traineeships in England, funding high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds in 2021/22 academic year.

  • £10 million to support veterans with mental health needs across the UK.

  • £19 million to tackle domestic abuse in England and Wales, with funding for a network of ‘Respite Rooms’ to support homeless women and a programme to prevent reoffending.

  • £90 million funding to support our government-sponsored national museums in England due to the financial impact of Covid-19.

  • £300 million for major spectator sports, supporting clubs and governing bodies in England as fans begin to return to stadia.


How these policies impact young people


There are a number of policies in this budget that will directly impact young people. Firstly, the extension of the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (Furlough). As of 31st of January, 855,200 jobs held by those aged 24 or under, were on furlough. The scheme means that employers pay 80% of the wages of their employees (unless negotiated otherwise). One major concern about the scheme is that one-in-five young people (18-24), who were furloughed during lockdown have since lost their jobs and just one-in-three who have lost their jobs have been able to find a new one. So, although the scheme may have reduced the rise in unemployment during lockdown the worry is that once the scheme ends many young people will lose their jobs.


Secondly, the mortgage guarantee scheme. A mortgage is a loan taken out to buy property or land. This scheme may allow more young people to get on the property ladder. The scheme involves the government ‘guaranteeing’ 95% mortgages for buyers with 5% deposits up to £600,000. This will allow more young people to get on the property ladder as they will need less money to get a mortgage.


Thirdly, the extension of the apprentice hiring incentive. This government will pay organisations who adopt new apprentices. Employers will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any ages who join their organisation from 1st of April 2021 to 30th of September 2021. This incentive will likely mean more young people will be able to get apprenticeships.


Fourthly, £7 million for a new ‘flexi-job’ apprenticeship programme. This programme involves organisations applying for money to start new agencies which employ apprentices and place them with multiple employers. This programme is specifically targeted at industries which struggle to comply with the 12-month minimum apprenticeships rule. Examples would be the construction and creative sectors. This scheme will also hopefully allow more young people to get apprenticeships.


Lastly, there will be an additional £126 million for 40,000 more traineeships in England. Traineeships are intended to get people into their first job after education. They last from six weeks to six months, and they are open to people aged between 16 and 24. This policy will mean more young people will have a chance of employment after completion of education. This is crucial with youth unemployment having increased by 11% due to the pandemic.

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