Yesterday's budget from Chancellor Rishi Sunak not only protects our economy and those hardest hit, but kick-starts recovery, prioritising businesses and people’s livelihoods through the crisis. Businesses in Cheadle have been safeguarded by the Government over the last year but today’s announcements will help as we begin to open up again.
The extension of furlough ensures that businesses can plan ahead, safe in the knowledge that jobs and livelihoods are protected. This gives both employers and employees security and peace of mind. It is right that we continue supporting people until businesses can operate as normal again.
The £5 billion Restart Grant scheme will give businesses a helping hand as they reopen after challenging times and help those hit hardest by the pandemic. The Government recognise that there are challenges to re-opening, and this generous financial package is there to support.
And it is excellent news for those beginning a new career, with ‘flexi-apprenticeships’ financially supporting employers and enabling people to work with different employers in a sector, and £126 million for traineeships!
Having had several meetings with ministers on this very issue, I'm also pleased to see that the temporary £20 Universal credit uplift has been extended for another 6 months by the Chancellor. This extra money has been essential for many people and families who have turned to the Universal Credit system during the pandemic and it is right we continue to support them during these unprecedented times.
As a founding member of the Northern Research Group - a voice for Conservative MPs on Northern levelling up - I've also been working alongside colleagues calling for the vital extension of the business rates holiday, which means so much to the businesses it is helping.
So, I was pleased to hear the Chancellor extending the business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors as well as continuing the VAT cut for hospitality and tourism. This will continue to help ease the burden on businesses at this difficult time and prepare for a strong economic bounce back later this year.