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Budget: Furlough extended to September

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out a series of measures in his Budget statement to support the UK’s recovery from Covid-19, including that the government’s furlough scheme will continue through to the end of September.

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The Chancellor said the measures would support the UK’s recovery from Covid-19

Speaking today, Sunak said the scheme will remain unchanged, but from July, businesses will be asked to contribute 10% to staff’s wages, and 20% in both August and September.

The Universal Credit uplift of £20 per week will also remain in place until the end of September, while the National Living Wage will increase to £8.91 per hour from April.

The business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will continue to the end of June and be discounted by two months for the remaining nine months of the year.

Some £5bn will be made available to non-essential businesses reopening over the coming months, with each company able to apply for grants up to £6,000.

Sunak also announced an increase in corporation tax, with this to rise from 19% to 25% from April 2023, but only companies posting £250,000 or more in profit will pay the full 25%.

Businesses recording less than £50,000 in profit will remain at the current 19% rate, while those in between the two thresholds facing adjusted rates between 19% and 25%.

The threshold for paying the basic rate will increase to £12,570 from next year, while the higher-rate level will be set at £50,270. Both of these rates will stay in place until 2026.

Both rates will stay the same until 2026, while the VAT registration threshold will remain at £85,000 until 2024.

Other pledges included that incentive grants for apprenticeships will to rise to £3,000 and £126 for traineeships, while planned increases on alcohol and fuel duties will be cancelled.

Sunak also stated the UK economy is forecast to return to pre-Covid levels by middle of 2022, and whole unemployment is also set to peak next year at 6.5%, this is lower than the earlier forecast 11.9%.

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