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Budget 2021: What does it mean for you?

From government support to how much tax you pay, the Budget can have an impact on you and your money.

What is the Budget?

The Budget is an annual statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the House of Commons. It includes a review of the nation’s finances and economic situation, as well as changes proposed by the government. 

Here are some of the key things that may affect you:

£100 contactless payment limit

The government has approved an increase to the legal contactless payment limit. From 15 October 2021, you should be able to use your contactless debit and credit cards to make payments up to £100 (raised from £100) at any retailer that accepts contactless. 

With the payment limit set to increase, it’s even more important to keep your card safe and report any lost or stolen cards to your provider straight away. 

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. You may be eligible if you’re on a low income or out of work

The temporary Universal Credit uplift of £20-a-week has now ended, as planned.

Personal and corporation tax

The personal tax threshold – the amount you can earn before starting to pay tax – will rise, as planned, to £12,570 from April 2021 and remain unchanged until April 2026. The higher-rate threshold will increase to £50,270 from April 2021 and remain unchanged until April 2026. 

Corporation tax will increase from 19% to 25% in April 2023. However, the rate for companies with profits under £50,000 will stay at 19% and there will also be relief for businesses with profits under £250,000. 

Stamp Duty holiday

The temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday for residential properties in England and Northern ended on 1 October 2021. 

Find out more about Stamp Duty and how much you may need to pay.

Mortgage guarantee to help buyers with 5% deposit

The government has announced a 95% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage guarantee scheme to help buyers purchase a property with a 5% deposit.

The government mortgage guarantee scheme will make a real difference in enabling more first-time buyers and home movers, with a minimum 5% deposit, to get the keys to their new home.

The scheme will be available from the 19 April 2021.

Financial help for those affected by coronavirus

Job Retention Scheme (furlough) extension

The government has proposed to extend the Job Retention Scheme further to the end of September. It’ll continue to contribute up to 80% towards wages for employees on temporary leave (furlough) due to coronavirus.  

New UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme

As various business loan schemes come to an end, including the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), a new Recovery Loan Scheme will take their place until the end of 2021. If eligible, businesses may be able to apply for a loan between £25,000 and £10 million.

Support for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors

Business rates have been reduced by two-thirds until the end of 2021. This includes shops, restaurants, gyms and hotels. Businesses may also be eligible for a Restart Grant – a one off cash payment of up to £18,000. 

Visit GOV.UK to find coronavirus financial support for your business.   

Self-employed support

The government has issued a fourth grant as part of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). If you filed a tax return in 2019-20, you will now be able to claim for the first time.

If your income has fallen by 30% or more, you could be entitled to a grant to cover 80% of lost earnings (30% if your earnings have fallen by less than 30%). The SEISS covers the months February, March and April 2021, up to the maximum value of £7,500. 

£20,000 ISA allowance remains

The total amount you can save in ISAs in the 2021-22 tax year will stay at £20,000. This is your annual tax-free ISA allowance. 

You can spread it across different types of ISAs, such as:  

  • cash ISA

  • stocks & shares ISA

  • innovative finance ISA

But you can only have one ISA of each type and you must stay within the total limit of £20,000. If eligible, you can also put up to £4,000 into a Lifetime ISA, as part of this limit. The Junior ISA allowance will remain at £9,000.

Fuel and alcohol tax freeze

Fuel duty will remain the same for the 11th consecutive year. Tax on alcohol will also remain unchanged.

Could you be missing out on unclaimed benefits?

Many people are eligible for government support but don’t realise they are. You may think you need to be out of work to claim anything – but that’s not the case. 

Check what government support you’re entitled to