Landlords are disappointed with the Budget, as will many tenants, especially those in the private commercial & residential rented sector. Chancellor Rishi Sunak missed out on an opportunity to support the private rental sector with financial support, which is desperately needed.
Dr William Masih, one of the British Landlords Association directors, said: “There is nothing in this budget to help commercial or residential landlords. The little support for tenants is nowhere near what is required”.
And Baroness Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, is also critical of the Budget – and she doesn’t restrict her comments to the rental sector.
“Rishi Sunak says this Budget protects jobs, but we know that redundancies are already rising at a faster rate than the 2008 financial crisis.
Two in five private renters are now relying on benefits, and 715,000 households don’t get enough Universal Credit to cover their rent,” she claims.
“This Budget has done nothing to help those without jobs protect their homes. The Chancellor ignored the genuine rent debt crisis, and without government action, renters will have no protection from eviction and homelessness.
We need a Covid Rent Debt Fund to clear arrears and an extension to the eviction ban as long as restrictions are in place.”
The Baroness continues: “Instead, the Chancellor had announced 95 per cent mortgages, which is completely out of touch when 60 per cent of private renters had no savings at the start of the pandemic, and another 18 per cent have had to use savings to pay their rent in the past year.”
“The Government tried a mortgage guarantee scheme eight years ago, and all it did was push up house prices, while another half a million households have got stuck renting over the same period.
Stoking demand with more lending and extending the stamp duty holiday will not fix the underlying shortage of homes available to buy.”
Some key elements of the Budget:
- An extension of the UK-wide Self Employment Income Support scheme to September 2021, with 600,000 more people who filed a tax return in 2019-20 now able to claim for the first time.
- An extension to the temporary cut in Stamp Duty Land Tax in England and Northern Ireland until September will support the housing market and protect and create jobs.
- A new mortgage guarantee scheme will enable all UK homebuyers to secure a mortgage of up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit.
- £5 billion for new Restart Grants – a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England.
- A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.
- Extension of the Film & TV Production Restart scheme in the UK, with an additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund.
- The six-month extension of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift in Great Britain, with the Northern Ireland Executive receiving additional funding to match the increase. A one-off payment of £500 to eligible Working Tax Credit claimants across the UK.
- Extension to the VAT cut to 5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions across the UK until the end of September, followed by a 12.5% rate for a further six months until 31 March 2022.
- 750,000 eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will benefit from business rates relief.
- More than double the legal limit for single contactless payments, from £45 to £100
- £10 million to support veterans with mental health needs across the UK.
- £19 million to tackle domestic abuse in England and Wales, with funding for a network of ‘Respite Rooms’ to support homeless women and a programme to prevent reoffending.
- £300 million for significant spectator sports, supporting clubs and governing bodies in England as fans begin to return to stadia.
- Small and medium-sized employers in the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs per employee from the Government.
- To further support businesses’ cash flow, the Government is extending the loss carry-back rules worth up to £760,000 per company.
- £100 million for a new Taxpayer Protection Taskforce to crack-down on COVID fraudsters who have exploited UK Government support schemes.
Author: Amanda Goldsmith firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 4th of March 2021
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