Philip Dunne welcomed the Chancellor’s Summer Economic Update announcing a package of measures to support jobs across the UK, as well as greening of the economy through energy efficiency.
The Chancellor’s plan is designed to support jobs by focussing on skills and young people, create jobs with investment in shovel-ready projects and greening our infrastructure, and protect jobs through a VAT cut for the hospitality sector and a landmark Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme for diners.
A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will also be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. £5.8 billion will be spent on shovel-ready construction projects to get Britain building. And a temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 will be introduced until 31 March 2021 to drive growth and support jobs across the housebuilding and property sectors.
This follows the previous £160 billion support package which included £49 billion of extra funding for the country’s vital public services including the NHS, paying the wages of nearly 12 million people and supporting over a million businesses through grants, loans and rates cuts, and will be followed by a Budget and Spending Review in the autumn focussing on rebuilding.
Mr Dunne said:
“The jobs measures to stimulate employers to hire and train young people entering job market are imaginative and welcome.
“The terrific boost for hospitality and tourism sectors provided through the VAT cut will be a huge help for our tourism economy in South Shropshire. This follows calls for such support by South Shropshire pub landlords, who will also benefit from the remarkable Eat Out Help Out vouchers for the early part of the week during August.
“I also welcome the Stamp Duty cut from tonight, which will help get people moving home again and in doing so should have knock-on effects supporting capital spending on home improvement and associated high value goods such as carpets, furniture, bathrooms, and kitchens.”
Commenting on the Chancellor’s statement and the investment in energy efficiency measures as Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Mr Dunne said:
“From business groups to environmentalists, the Climate Assembly to Members of Parliament, calls to the Government on greening the economic recovery seem to have resonated.
“I welcome the Chancellor’s £3bn funding of both grants for hundreds of thousands of homes to be insulated; and for hospitals, schools and other public buildings to become more energy efficient supporting green jobs.
“The £2bn allocated to improving energy efficiency in homes does appear to just be a one year funding commitment that the Government has said can make 650,000 homes more energy efficient. There needs to be a long-term, sustainable approach that can help improve the energy efficiency of the 19m UK homes EPC rated D or worse.
“Today’s measures are a promising start – kick-starting the retrofitting of British buildings and the estimated 140,000 jobs this will create.
“It is imperative this momentum is built upon in the Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review this Autumn, particularly as time is running out to make lasting policy decisions that will ensure the UK leads by example at COP26 and meets its own legal commitment of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”