LiveSpring Budget 2021 LIVE: Latest updates and what it means for Lancashire
Lancashire businesses, tourism chiefs and the "forgotten"self-employed were amongst the groups anxiously waiting to see what Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces today to help the county's battered economy.
Mr Sunak is expected to announce that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has protected more than 11 million jobs since its inception, will remain in place until autumn.
And he will also make announcements crucial to the hospitality and the tourism industries.
The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce has urged to Chancellor to extend support to help businesses restart and rebuild; avoid tax rises that hit business confidence and growth, and provide incentives to get firms investing again.
Follow all the latest from today's Spring Budget here from 12pm.
Spring Budget 2021: Live update and reaction in Lancashire
Last updated: Wednesday, 03 March, 2021, 13:33
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer describes the Budget as “papering over the cracks” after a decade of cuts and the massive effect of the pandemic on the economy from the pandemic. There was absolutely no mention of social care - Labour would have had the NHS and care homes at front and centre, he says
“This is a Budget that protects the jobs and livelihoods of the British people”, says Sunak
Beer and fuel duties
No rise in duties on beer, spirits and fuel
Tax breaks to encourage businesses to invest announced by Chancellor
Corporation tax paid on company profits to rise up to 25 per cent in 2023
Personal tax thresholds frozen
Businesses will be able to apply for restart grants to get them back on their feet
From next month, 95 per cent mortgages will be available from many lenders
Business rates and VAT
Business rates holiday will continue until June, then discounted. And the 5 per cent VAT rate affecting tourism and hospitality will be extended until the end of September
Extra £20 on UC will continue for 6 months, says Chancellor
Further grants will be available to the self employed. Provided they have filed a tax return, the newer self employed can now claim this money
Furlough scheme will be extended until September, he confirms
Our financial intervention has saved jobs, says the Chancellor
‘Whatever it takes’
We will do whatever it takes to support the country, says Mr Sunak, in wake of economy which has massively shrunk. Economy expected to return to pre Covid by middle of 2022, but virus has done “profound damage”
Here we go
The Chancellor is about to unveil his Budget