Most of you will have already seen the headlines last week but we wanted to digest this and get a little more detail behind the proposals before we expanded on them and we still await some further details as of today.
In summary though:
- Incentives to retain staff following the end of furlough
- Temporary reduction, until 31st March 2021, in stamp duty so that houses under £500k are exempt
- The Eat Out To Help Out Scheme across August for participating restaurants
- Temporary VAT reduction
- Incentives to help young people into the workforce through apprenticeships and traineeships (more information still to follow regarding this so contact us if you wish to discuss further)
- The COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme or as most of us know it… Furloughing
The Government is now incentivising companies to bring back their furloughed staff and keep them until at least Jan 2021. For every furloughed member of staff, you bring back to work, continuously employ and pay over an average of £520 a month for Nov/Dec/Jan, the government will give your business £1,000.The money will be granted once you have submitted your payroll RTI submission for January 2021. This could be a very welcome cash bonus for many businesses though in our opinion could have been better spent as we personally aren’t sure jobs would be kept open this long given the size of the grant. A thankless task; we know and the Government have done a great job but we think this one will not hit the mark.More information is expected regarding this by 31 July and full guidance is going to be published in the Autumn we’re told.
Stamp duty change
An increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold in England and Northern Ireland – increasing the threshold under which no SDLT is paid on the purchase of a main home from £125,000 to £500,000, with immediate effect until 31 March 2021.
The Eat Out To Help Out Scheme across August for participating restaurants
during August, diners can get 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered
VAT changes for eat in/takeaway food, hospitality and leisure (just not alcohol)
Of course, we wholeheartedly applaud the reduction in VAT to 5% for these categories from July 15th to 12th Jan 2021. The accountant in us would have preferred the reduction to take place at the beginning or end of a month, but that’s just life!
The UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos.
Flexible Furlough Calculations
As you are all aware, we have submitted all furlough claims to date for no charge.
Following the introduction of ‘flexible furlough’ and the complexity of the calculations behind this, there will now be a charge for the calculation element of this if you wish to take advantage because of the additional time involved at our end.
If you wish to make these calculations personally, you too would then need to then make the claim as we professionally cannot make a claim for which we were not responsible for.
All other standard furlough claims will continue to be made for no additional charge.
Free Xero training
Xero are kindly hosting a series of free training sessions to a limited number of people so if this of interest then please get in touch as the topics are changing on a week to week basis.
What to expect next (financially and operationally)
This week we are speaking at the North East Expo event which this year is naturally being hosted online so to register for this free event just follow this link here where I will discuss my thoughts and make this as interactive as possible for those attending to help people plot a route forward both financially and operationally.
Last; but by no means least, welcome three new additions
I’ve resisted any pictures but we now welcome Kate, Triveni and Fraser to the team who actually started at various times through lockdown but that is the end of our latest recruitment drive; for now, so we thought it a good time to introduce them and if you see an e-mail in your mailbox from them it is genuine.