Keir Starmer tells Rishi Sunak to 'follow Welsh Government's example' with Budget

Brenda Watkins
March 3, 2021

What's in the box for Britons this year?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce that the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September, in today's Budget.

Many companies are also under strain from Brexit after Britain left the European Union's single market on January 1 and the government faces the challenge of huge investment to meet its promise to create a net zero carbon economy by 2050.

The i says the Government's job protection scheme will be prolonged until September, an angle The Guardian takes up under a headline of "Sunak extends the safety net".

Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak.

The move would allow Mr Sunak to raise extra funds without breaking the manifesto pledge that guaranteed the Conservatives would not raise the "rate" of income tax.

Corporation tax will increase from 19% to 25% in 2023.

"Put in perspective, corporation tax is not a main lever in terms of revenues - around 10 percent of tax receipts - but probably the path of least resistance as the government explores ways to fix its revenue shortfall".

Beginning April 2021, a new super-deduction will cut companies' tax bill by 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment meaning they can reduce their taxable profits by 130% of the cost.

- The stamp duty cut will continue until the end of June, with the nil rate band set at £250,000 - double its standard level - until the end of September.

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Both these temporary measures could be extended in the budget, according to economists.

Sunak said: "Throughout the crisis we have done everything we can to support our world-renowned arts and cultural industries, and it's only right that we continue to build on our historic package of support for the sector".

"It's going to take this country - and the whole world - a long time to recover from this extraordinary economic situation".

"But we will probably need to see significant fiscal measures, including revenue raising, in the future", he added.

In a series of announcements ahead of his set-piece speech, Mr Sunak said the United Kingdom will launch a sovereign green savings bond for retail investors to help cut greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050.

A big chunk of the outlay has been to keep millions of private-sector workers in jobs via the government's furlough scheme, with the bulk of wages to be paid until the end of April.

Analysts argue that Britain must use the budget to both extend coronavirus financial support measures and tackle inequalities exacerbated by Covid.

The Budget also coincides with the publication of the the government's new Build Back Better: our plan for growth strategy, setting out how infrastructure, skills and innovation will drive the United Kingdom economy.

The budget is also expected to confirm the launch of an Infrastructure Bank with £12 billion in capital and £10 billion in government guarantees. Located in Leeds, the Bank will invest across the United Kingdom in public and private projects to finance the green industrial revolution.

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