NAVCA has produced the following overview for the VCSE sector on the Budget 2021 which was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 3 March. For more details, you can find the Budget 2021 in full online.

Response from sector leaders

You can read NAVCA’s response (disappointment) to this budget here – ‘All aboard the Budget Bus’ – written by Clare Mills, our Head of Communications and External Affairs.

The #NeverMoreNeeded coalition, which represents thousands of social change organisations and charities across the UK, has put forward a joint response to the Budget which you can read here.

 

Key announcements

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘furlough’) has been extended to September 2021. Until then, employees will continue to receive 80% of their wages. Employers will need to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September as the scheme is gradually phased out.
  • The Business Rates ‘holiday’ will continue until the end of June 2021. For the rest of the financial year, business rates will be subject to a 2/3 discount, meaning only 1/3 the ‘normal’ business rates will be payable.
  • There is a £5bn fund for ‘Restart Grants’, and local councils will administer the distribution of these.
  • Non-essential retail businesses will get up to £6,000 per premises through the Restart Grant scheme to help them reopen. Our understanding is that this will include charity shops.There is an additional £19m for domestic abuse programmes, which have seen a significant increase in demand for support during lockdown.
  • £10m is being made available to provide mental health support for veterans, through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. The government will provide also up to £475,000 to Armed Forces charities in 2021-22 to support the development of a digital and data strategy for the sector.
  • The £150 million Community Ownership Fund will help ensure that communities across the UK can continue to benefit from the local facilities and amenities that are most important to them. From the summer, community groups will be able to bid for up to £250,000 matched funding to help them to buy local assets to run as community-owned businesses

Support for people

  • The temporary £20 per week uplift in universal credit has been given a six-month extension, after charities warned of rising poverty which will only increase when the uplift is cut.
  • People in receipt of Working Tax Credit will receive a one-off payment of £500 in April 2021.
  • The National Living Wage will increase to £8.91/hour from April 2021, for workers aged 23 and over.
  • The personal basic rate tax free allowance goes to £12,570 from April 2021. The higher rate level goes to £50,270. Allowances will then be frozen for three years.