March 3, 2021 1.59 pm This story is over 31 months old

Budget 2021: What you need to know

Some help extended until September

The Chancellor has revealed his 2021 Budget which includes extensions to the furlough scheme and stamp duty relief, as well as increases in Universal Credit and National Living Wage.

Rishi Sunak put forward his economic plans for the year in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon.

Chancellor Sunak said in the House of Commons: “Coronavirus has caused one of the largest most comprehensive and sustained economic shocks this country has ever faced.”

Here’s a breakdown of the top announcements:


  • The Stamp Duty holiday is extended until the end of June for sales under £500,000
  • First-time buyers will get a “government guarantee” on Help to Buy mortgages, with a deposit of 5%


  • 5% reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism will be extended for six months to September 30, followed by an interim rate of 12.5% for another six months
  • Income tax: the threshold for paying the basic rate will rise to £12,570 next year, and then it will be frozen for five years
  • Corporation tax paid on company profits will rise from 19% to 25% in April 2023

Business support

  • Furlough will continue until September, with no change of terms. After July, businesses will be asked for a 10% contribution, rising to 20% in August and September
  • Support for the self-employed will also continue until September
  • Business rates holiday will be extended through to the end of June, with a two-thirds discount for the remaining nine months of the year
  • A planned increase on alcohol duties will be cancelled

Universal credit

  • The universal credit uplift of £20 a week will also go on until September
  • The National Living Wage will rise to £8.91 from April


  • £5 billion grant for retail, hospitality and leisure confirmed – non-essential retail businesses will receive grants of up to £6,000 per premises and hospitality and leisure businesses will get grants of up to £18,000


  • Sporting, cultural and arts organisations will get £700 million to help them reopen


  • COVID vaccination rollout will receive an extra £1.65 billion in the Budget to help it reach its target of offering a first dose to every adult by July 31
  • Additional £65 billion COVID support package of measures amounting to £407 billion so far
  • An extra £19 million for domestic abuse programmes during the pandemic