THE Chancellor's summer statement focused on supporting, creating and protecting jobs after a period of historic economic downturn.

As part of the plan to support jobs, a Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.

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. Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

This will help businesses support the next generation of skilled workers, with the effect the coronavirus crisis has had on the economy, it was the worry of many that businesses would put the development of younger workers on the back burner, adding to the skills shortage the country is already facing.

To encourage people to safely return to eating out at restaurants the Government’s new discount scheme will provide a 50 per cent reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020, providing these businesses a much needed boost in customers.

Also announced was governments plans to provide £3 billion ‘green investment’ package to cut emissions, included within the package is a £2bn grant scheme in England for projects such as insulation. The Treasury say this could create up to 100,000 jobs and help to kick-start the economy whilst also helping the UK meet its 2050 target of achieving net zero carbon emissions.

Finally, the rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will be cut from 20% to 5% which will help firms in the hospitality and tourism sectors working hard to restart after many months of lost revenue.

The chancellor’s summer statement had a clear priority on supporting, creating and protecting jobs, the government are looking to boost consumer confidence and power the country’s economic recovery. With the furlough scheme coming to an end in October, it will now be the real test for the Chancellor who will look to protect and create new jobs or risk further unemployment and damage to the economy.