Budget 2020: How it impacts the money in Norfolk workers’ pockets
PUBLISHED: 14:44 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:44 11 March 2020
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Rishi Sunak revealed his Budget to the House of Commons today. But what does it mean for the day-to-day life of the public?
In his Budget Mr Sunak said that legislation had been changed so that those who have been advised to self isolate - even if they have not displayed symptoms - will be given statutory sick pay.
He added that those on in-work benefits who get ill will be able to 'claim from day one instead of day eight'.
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A Norfolk lawyer had previously raised concerns that employees could be at risk if they could not evidence their illness. Matt Potter, employment partner at Norwich-based Howes Percival, said: 'People might not be able to get fit notes if they're self-isolating, but I think people could face disciplinary action if they can't prove they needed to go into isolation. 'Employers might want some evidence that people aren't self-isolating for the sake of it - but will have to be pragmatic about it.'
However, those forced to go into isolation will now be able to get a sick note via the 111 phone service.
Similarly, people who are on jobseekers allowance will be able to check in online instead of going into a job centre, meaning they do not miss out.
For those paying National Insurance, the threshold for payment will be increased from £8,632 to £9,500.
Mr Sunak also announced a new target - that wages will reach two-thirds of median earnings by 2024 'as long as economic conditions allow' - a rate of more than £10.50 an hour.
- Duties and taxes
Mr Sunak announced that duty on beer, cider, and wine have all been frozen for another year.
He added that the planned increase on spirit tax has been scrapped, and will remain at the same level. He also confirmed that petrol duty has been frozen at 57.95p per litre for petrol and diesel.
He said: 'I have heard representations that after nine years of being frozen, at a cost of £110 billion to the taxpayer, we can no longer afford to freeze fuel duty. I'm certainly mindful of the fiscal cost and the environmental impacts.
'But I'm taking considerable steps in this Budget to incentivise cleaner forms of transportation, and many people still rely on their cars.
'So I'm pleased to announce today that for another year fuel duty will remain frozen. Compared to 2010 plans, that's a saving of £1,200.'
The news was received with mixed reaction by Scott Mowbray, founder of money saving app Snoop, which is being developed in Norwich. Mr Mowbray said: 'With planned increases to beer, cider, wine and fuel duty all scrapped, the only real surprise was no general cut to VAT as it's one of the quickest way to inject cash into people's pockets.
'Overall, this was the 'catch it, bin it, kill it' budget.' Mr Sunak also abolished the 'tampon tax' on feminine hygiene products, and also abolished VAT on digital literature including newspapers and books.
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- Business rates
Businesses such as shops, cinemas, restaurants and music venues with a rateable value under £51,000 will not have to pay the tax for the next financial year. Mr Sunak said: 'That means any eligible retail, leisure or hospitality business with a rateable value below £51,000 will, over the next financial year, pay no business rates whatsoever. That is a tax cut worth over £1 billion, saving each business up to £25,000.'
Nic Redfern, finance director of Norwich-based SME Know Your Money, said: 'Given the unprecedented financial pressures facing the UK high street, it was pleasing to see the chancellor announcing a cut to business rates.
'This will provide much-needed breathing space for smaller and medium-sized retailers who have been struggling to stay afloat, though one cannot but think this is too little too late.'