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Chancellor delivers Budget among coronavirus uncertainty

1 minute read
Chancellor delivers Budget among coronavirus uncertainty

Published by Josh Kerr at 11:56am 11th March 2020. (Updated at 3:02pm 11th March 2020)

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has delivered the new government's first Budget this afternoon (11 March).

Traditionally the Budget sees several major announcements about tax and government spending, however the Spring Budget 2020 was dominated by announcements to combat the economic challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Read our live blog featuring the announcements as they happened in parliament and what it all means for you, in association with Branston Adams.

Branston Adams Accountants

It's over...

Having spoken for an hour and three minutes the Chancellor has brought his Budget to a close.

Find out more about what was announced in more detail.

You can also read the thoughts of Paul Adams from Branston Adams in Farnham on what was announced here.


Money for housing



Education, Education, Education

Next up it's the latest investment for schools and colleges.

Among that is £30m a year to improve PE teaching and school sports facilities.

Elsewhere from 1st December there will be no VAT charge on books, newspapers, magazines or academic journals.


New investment in local roads

You may have heard this news earlier but money "to fill 50m potholes" has been announced.


Flooding investment

Referencing the impact of flooding across the country since the start of the year £120m has been pledged right away to repair damaged flood defences.

There will also be £200m to help communities become more flood resilient and doubling investment in flood defences to £5.2bn.


New plastic tax

It will be introduced for manufactures and importers.


Duty calls...

An update now on taxes on things like alcohol and petrol - in short they are staying the same.


"An end to the Tampon-Tax"


National Insurance changes

The amount you earn before you pay National Insurance is going up from £8,632 to £9,500.


Moving on from coronavirus

There's plenty more to say about the measures responding to COVID-19 - but for now the speech is touching on some of the things that were due to be announced originally.


So how has our economy been doing?

It's claimed the UK has grown faster than France, Japan and Italy since 2010.


More on the help for workers

Anyone who is asked to self isolate will be able to get Statutory Sick Pay - even if they don't have the virus.

In addition you won't have to get a sick note from a doctor - but can get one by contacting 111 instead.


Help for businesses too

It's been promised that the Government will refund the cost of up to 14 days of providing statutory sick pay and that for the next year small businesses will have to pay no business rates.

Small businesses will also be able to get £1.2m of loans for those affect - backed up by the government.



A three point plan

He has promised the following points to help with COVID-19:

  1. Funds for any resources the NHS needs to tackle the virus
  2. New measures for those unable to work due to self isolation
  3. A £500m "Hardship Fund" for local authorities to help venerable people

"We will get through this together"

The Chancellor has said the virus is the biggest challenge facing the country, but is not the only one - referencing to the fact there are many other issues that will be addressed in his speech.


We're off...

Rishi Sunak has begun speaking - and has immediately begun with the coronavirus.

He says the government is "doing all it can" on the issue.


So is this a 'coronavirus budget'?

It is looking that way, yes.

The spread of COVID-19 is dominating many parts of our lives at the moment from music and sport events being postponed to people panic buying in shops - as well as a drop in the price of petrol. All of this has an impact on the economy.

Earlier today the Bank of England, which is run separately from the government, has taken the decision to cut interest rates - i.e. the cost of borrowing money - from 0.75 per cent to 0.25 per cent in the wake of the outbreak.

In addition the Chancellor has said the UK will be "one of the best-placed economies in the world" to manage the impact of coronavirus and has promised a package of measures relating to it.


What can we expect?

Paul Adams at Branston Adams Accountants in Farnham has already given his predictions about some of the main points that may come up - which you can find here.

However, beyond the more traditional announcements you would expect from a budget it's expected that the government's economic response to the coronavirus outbreak will feature heavily.


Who is the Chancellor?

Rishi Sunak is the man in charge of the Budget, having taken over from Sajid Javid after he quit last month.

His full title is the Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of Her Majesty's Exchequer, basically it means he makes government decisions relating to money and is also head of the Treasury.

For any Chancellor delivering a Budget is a big deal and they get to stand outside their official residence, 11 Downing Street, with that familiar red box.

Rishi has done so already today:


What is happening?

From roughly 12.30pm the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, will deliver his Budget to parliament.

It will include details on the outlook for our economy, what economic policies the government is to pursue and any changes to taxes or spending.

Throughout we'll be explaining what is being said and what it means for you.


Good afternoon

Hello and welcome to Eagle Radio's Budget 2020 live blog, in association with Branston Adams.