Budget 2021: Six things to look out for

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

On Wednesday the chancellor will stand before parliament to deliver the budget, as he attempts to address the massive economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Each year the chancellor of the exchequer delivers a budget to the House of Commons, setting out the state of the economy and plans for raising or lowering taxes. 

One year on since the start of the global pandemic government borrowing has reached the eye-watering level of £271bn - £222bn more than a year ago. 

Ahead of the budget, the chancellor has already unveiled policies, some of which will bring a sigh of relief to people in Norfolk.  

While last-minute changes to the budget are possible, here are some of the pre-announced and mooted budget proposals: 

Covid support 

The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is administered. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

More than 20m people have now been given their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to NHS figures - Credit: Denise Bradley

Mr Sunak has promised an extra £1.65bn for the Covid vaccination rollout to help “maintain the momentum” and get all adults a jab by the end of July. 

Most Read

Alongside this, Mr Sunak is expected to put £22m towards research into whether mixing different vaccine doses works and the effectiveness of a third dose. 

Norfolk’s Covid levels are currently at their lowest since October, while around 40pc of adults in Norfolk and Waveney have had their first jab. 

Hospitality and the high street 

The chancellor has set out a £5bn scheme for high street shops and hospitality businesses, with grants worth up to £18,000 per premises to help them reopen. 

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, Mr Sunak said it had been a difficult year for the two sectors and the grants would give them the "support they need to get them through and get them back on their feet". 

Shoppers making the most of the weekends before Christmas.

Shoppers making the most of the weekends before Christmas. - Credit: Archant

To help curb pub closures, the chancellor is expected to pledge £150m to help community takeovers. 

Neighbours will be able to come together to apply for up to £250,000 to save their beloved boozers, while in exceptional circumstances applicants will be able to bid on up to £1m to save community assets such as sports grounds and clubs. 

While there has been no guarantee, speaking on Radio 4 on Tuesday, the business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said furlough and the hospitality sector VAT cut were likely to be extended. 

He added the focus was on "providing support for business and families" and there would “perhaps be an extension” of the reduced - 5pc - rate of VAT for the hospitality sector. 

House buying 

Particularly good news for people trying to get on the property ladder, the government is set to unveil 5pc deposit mortgages on properties worth up to £600,000. 

The Government is expected to guarantee the loans, enabling lenders to offer mortgages worth 95 per cent of the purchase price. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivers his one-year Spending Review in the House of Common

Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons - Credit: PA

The scheme will be based on the Help to Buy scheme which ended in 2016.  

The Times has reported the stamp duty holiday, which raised the threshold before tax is paid on purchasing a property up to £500,000, is expected to be extended for another three months. 

Self-employed support

So far it does not look like good news for the self-employed.  

The Telegraph has reported that while the self-employed are due to receive grants of up to £7,500 in the budget, the scheme may be dropped from May. 

Petrol 

It looks like the duty freeze on petrol will remain for another year after the treasury considered an increase of 5p per litre to encourage people to greener travel. 

But, due to the high cost of electric vehicles and cars being considered a safe mode of transport during the pandemic, this looks to have been held off. 

The decision not to increase fuel duty means it has been frozen for a decade at 58p a litre. 

Museums, theatres and galleries  

Mr Sunak is expected to announce a £408m package for museums, theatres and galleries to help them reopen when Covid restrictions ease. 

This would see an extra £300m put into the £1.57bn culture recovery fund, with £90m for museums and cultural bodies to keep going until they can open their doors, as well as £18.8m for community cultural projects. 

This year's budget speech will be delivered on Wednesday, March 3 at around 12.30pm.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter