Budget, March 2020 Brief Overview
Increase in the National Insurance contributions threshold to £9,500.
A surcharge of 2% for non-UK residents on stamp duty land tax in England and Northern Ireland. This will be effective from 1 April 2021.
- Cladding – Building Safety Fund is to receive £1 billion more, to remove all types of unsafe cladding.
- Secretary of State for Housing, will announce reforms to the planning process tomorrow.
- £9.5 billion additional funds for the Affordable Homes Programme. – This brings the total to £12.2 billion. These funds are for building affordable homes across England.
- Housing infrastructure allocations of £1.1 billion which will unlock up to 69,620.
- Reduce the interest rates for local authorities to borrow to build social housing by 1%.
- Universal Credit – increase repayment period advances, to 24 months from October 2021.
- Universal Credit confirmed rollout is delayed and to be completed by September 2024.
- Reduction in the UC threshold, for surplus earnings to be delayed by a year, with only large income spikes above £2,500 taken into account. This will reduce to £300 in April 2021.
- £12 million a year additional investment for local authority resource to maximise their capacity to tackle Housing Benefits frauds.
Statutory sick pay (SSP) will be available to all those eligible from the first day of sickness absence for those who have Coronavirus or need to self-isolate in line with government guidelines. SSP is to be extended to those who are unable to work due to advise to self-isolate, and those caring for people within the same household who display symptoms and have been told to self-isolate.
Small businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be able to claim back in full from the Government up to 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee affected.
The self-employed and those below the lower earnings limit for SSP will be able to access financial support through either the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit (UC). ESA will be available for those directly affected or self-isolating from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth day. UC claimants affected will be able to claim and access advance payments without needing to attend a Job Centre in person.
For the duration of the coronavirus outbreak, the requirements of the minimum income floor in Universal Credit will be temporarily relaxed for those directly affected by the virus or self-isolating according to government advice for the duration of the outbreak, ensuring self-employed claimants will be compensated for losses in income.
Hardship Fund – £500 million grant funding, to Local Authorities in England, to support vulnerable people and households, financially in their local area.
The new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, delivered his first Budget, so let’s have a look at how this affects private landlords.
In our article published yesterday morning, we believed landlords could expect no financial relief in this Budget. Landlords may well be a target for an increase in taxation at some stage, in the near future.
Budget March 2020 had no good news or bad news for private landlords. The Chancellor did, however, deliver some good news for the social housing sector. The additional funds announced is a boost for social housing.
As anticipated, the Coronavirus was going to be the centre stage of the Budget.
The BLA Response to the 2020 March Budget
The British Landlords Association does not agree with the joint statement made by the NLA or the RLA, see the link to the comment at the bottom of this page.
The BLA believes a shortage of housing and spiralling rents is due to an issue of supply and demand. We desperately need more new affordable housing.
We are delighted the Chancellor has taken affirmative steps to kick start the social housing sector.
Unlike the previous decades, in order to cool the housing market, interest rates were raised. This inevitably affected all sectors of our economy across the board.
The micro-economics seems now to be the order of the day. This Chancellor, the Bank of England do seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet.
Through various recent PRS management compliance and tax regulations being phased in. This has kept the housing market cool and avoided exuberance.
The Chancellor and the BOE we say will close the gap between wages and house prices, this, in turn, means a squeeze on the PRS.
The Government needs to focus, on encouraging, as they now are, to build more social, affordable housing. For housing policy, this has to be the primary objective of this Government.
If we have sufficient housing, rents will come down to a reasonable level. This will make it possible for our young to be able to buy their own home.
At the moment, house prices have unreasonably outstripped the wages.
Mr Sajjad Ahmad the CEO of the British Landlords Association said: “We are delighted more funds are available for the affordable social housing sector. We are also relieved the PRS has not been hit with further taxation”.
Author: Marc Attwater
Date: 12th of March 2020