What does Suffolk think of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘mini-Budget’?

PUBLISHED: 17:30 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:50 08 July 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak departs 11 Downing Street - but what does his statement mean for the East Anglian economy? Picture: PA

Chancellor Rishi Sunak departs 11 Downing Street - but what does his statement mean for the East Anglian economy? Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

The chancellor’s summer ‘mini-budget’ saw him bring in measures to get young people into employment, stimulate the housing market and help the tourism and hospitality industries – here’s how Suffolk reacted.

Olly Magnus, chief executive of Magnus Group  Picture: MAGNUS GROUPOlly Magnus, chief executive of Magnus Group Picture: MAGNUS GROUP

Young People

The chancellor announced the £2billion “kickstart scheme” to help young people secure jobs.

The scheme provides taxpayer-funded work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Georgia Laurie, 20, who lives near Diss, said she thinks the scheme work placement scheme for young people will help to make young people more employable.

Tim Dansie, of Jackson Stops. Picture: JACKSON STOPSTim Dansie, of Jackson Stops. Picture: JACKSON STOPS

She said: “I think it’s easy to get a Saturday job around here when you’re a teenager.

“But to get specific experience for a job you want to do in the future is maybe not so easy.

“If you needed experience to get a job in engineering, the likelihood of getting that isn’t as high. It’s about getting you up to that next step. I think this will probably help young people become more employable.”

Her concerns were echoed by Bella Woodley, a 19-year-old from Mendlesham.

Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams. Picture: JAMIE HONEYWOODAndy Wood, chief executive of Adnams. Picture: JAMIE HONEYWOOD

She said: “A couple of my friends are quite worried about how to find a job close to what they want to do.

“They were trying to find work experience in the area they want to go into and they’re worried that they’ll be in competition with people that have more experience and have been made unemployed.

“They don’t want to have to find a job that is completely unrelated to what they wanted to do.”

Olly Magnus, chief executive of Great Blakenham-based haulage firm The Magnus Group, also welcomed the scheme. He said: “I’m delighted to see the government making provision to create hundreds of thousands of traineeships.

Georgia Laurie, 20, believes the chancellor's new £2bn fund will help young people find job.  Picture: SUBMITTEDGeorgia Laurie, 20, believes the chancellor's new £2bn fund will help young people find job. Picture: SUBMITTED

“Throughout my career in this sector, I’ve been very keen to open opportunities to younger people who can flourish in our type of business.

“We had very recently been looking at creating a new apprenticeship role in our freight forwarding area, so today’s announcement will certainly give us something to consider very seriously.”

Tourism and Hospitality

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Perhaps the headline policy of Rishi Sunak’s speech was the announcement of an “eat out to help out” discount offering 50% off dining out in August.

To further help hospitality and tourism, he also slashed VAT on the ailing sectors from 20% to 5% – a tax cut worth £4billion.

Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams, said: “We like many others in the hospitality and tourism sectors welcome the chancellor’s support in addressing the issues we and others face – these stimulus packages will make a significant difference in encouraging demand whilst also allowing businesses to plan for the future which is essential.

“Our estate of 46 pubs and hotels and wider business will benefit from a number of these initiatives, which are helpful in encouraging people to come out and enjoy themselves whilst being confident in the measures that we are proud to have taken to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

“The details of these programmes will follow in time and we are keen to understand in detail how these will work in practice.”

An Adnams spokesman added that it was too soon to tell whether the reduction in VAT could be passed on to customers.

David Scott, chief executive of Hotel Folk, which runs six venues across Suffolk, said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates that the government has now recognised the enormous challenges currently faced by the domestic tourism industry.

“We hope this new package will go towards kick-starting the visitor economy and help protect jobs, and will be passing the 15% VAT reduction directly onto our staying and dining guests in the hope it will encourage them to book with us.

“We will also be looking at participating in the 50% off ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme for people dining at our hotels Monday - Wednesday during August.”

The Housing Market

To help the housing market, Mr Sunak confirmed plans to abolish stamp duty on properties up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland.

Tim Dansie, direct of Jackson-Stops & Staff estate agents, said: “They’ve raised the threshold from £125,000 to £500,000. And as 80% of properties on the market are under £500,000 that’s a huge section of the market.

“Once you got higher up the price scale, there still will be a saving – at £500,000, the stamp duty is £15,000 – so anyone buying a property over £500,000 makes an instant saving of £15,000.

“We’re not going to go around disturbing deals that have already been done, but certainly for deals being talked about it’s certainly something to come into the conversation.

“It will entice more people to move. What it will mean is that people buying will have some spare cash left over to do up the carpets or curtains or maybe a bathroom or kitchen.

“It’ll stimulate all the economy around the whole house business.”

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