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Chancellor Rishi Sunak thanks South Cambridgeshire MP Anthony Browne for input on job creation measures

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has thanked South Cambridgeshire’s Conservative MP Anthony Browne for his advice on how to incentivise businesses to create jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking in the House of Commons after unveiling a £30bn package of measures, Mr Sunak welcomed the input from Mr Browne, who is an ex chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association.

Anthony Browne. Picture: Keith Heppell
Anthony Browne. Picture: Keith Heppell

The Chancellor announced that employers will be encouraged to retain staff through a one-off government payment of £1,000 for each employee who returns from furlough and is kept on until January.

He also unveiled a new Kickstart Scheme to create hundreds of thousands of fully-subsidised jobs for young people.

Praising the measures in the House of Commons chamber, Mr Browne said: “It’s bold, it’s imaginative, it’s well targeted. I’d like to congratulate my right honourable friend the Chancellor on this package, which will do so much to promote jobs and growth across the country. I very much welcome the cut in VAT and stamp duty, but most welcome of all is the Kickstarter scheme which brings hope to young people in these difficult times.”

He called on the private sector to “embrace” the scheme.

In response, the Chancellor said: “It’s important we provide as many opportunities for young people as possible one thing we want to improve and build upon is the involvement of the private sector.

“I hope this becomes a galvanising cry to businesses small and large, up and down the country to take on a Kickstarter, to help play their part in the recovery and I know this is an area that he has strong experience of from his time in London and I appreciate the advice and suggestions he’s given me about how to encourage and incentivise businesses to create jobs, to create opportunity.”

Mr Browne, who has been working on the Treasury Select Committee to scrutinise government decisions, later added: “Throughout the coronavirus crisis, the Conservative government has stood squarely behind people and businesses with one of the largest and most comprehensive packages of support anywhere in the world.

“As we turn our attention to carefully reopening our economy, it is right that the Chancellor is doing everything in his power to support, protect and create jobs. Our plan will be a lifeline for countless people and businesses across South Cambridgeshire.

“By levelling up the whole country, we will give businesses the confidence to retain and hire, create jobs in every region and ensure young people have the opportunity of a better start.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak (38074055)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak (38074055)

The £2billion Kickstart Scheme will directly pay businesses to create new, decent and high-quality jobs for any 16- to 24-year-old at risk of long-term unemployment.

Funding available for each job will cover 100 per cent of the national minimum wage for 25 hours a week, for six months in total, plus an administration fee, with a grant of around £6,500 per placement. There will be no cap on the number of places available.

The Chancellor also announced:

• A temporary cut in VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors from 20 per cent to five per cent until January 12, 2021.

• A new Eat Out to Help Out Scheme will give people up to 50 per cent off meals out at restaurants, pubs and cafes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August. Businesses can claim the money back from the government weekly, receiving funds within 5 working days. Guidance for businesses will be published next week.

• The temporary removal of stamp duty on all homes under £500,000 until the end of March 2021.

The VAT cut has earned praise from the manager of the Varsity Hotel in Cambridge, who called it “manna from heaven”, but suggested it would be needed for more than six months.

Meanwhile, Cambridge’s Labour MP Daniel Zeichner welcomed the “support for young people” but told ITV News Anglia that the ambition surrounding the green recovery - with £3bn earmarked - was not great enough.

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Summer statement 2020: Stamp duty and VAT cuts, half-price meals and Kickstart Scheme unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak

‘Manna from heaven’ - The Varsity Hotel in Cambridge welcomes VAT cut for tourism and hospitality industry

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