The budget 2021
This week Rishi Sunak unveiled the Budget 2021 with regards to tax and spending plans for the year ahead. The announcement set out measures to help businesses and jobs through the pandemic while supporting the UK’s economic recovery. The chancellor admitted it will take a ‘very long time’ for the UK’s economy to fully recover. Sunak set out his financial recovery plan, from extending the furlough scheme until September to continuing the Universal Credit £20 top-up for six months.
Some good news for first-time buyers – Sunak confirmed that there will be a wider choice of mortgages that require just a 5% deposit (when buying a property under £500,000). The stamp duty holiday has also been extended until June 30th so anyone buying a home with a value of up to £500,000 will be exempt from paying stamp duty. However, buyers will still find it hard to get a mortgage if they don’t have a regular income. And there are no specific policies to help those behind on their rents.
Budget 2021 – renters ‘forgotten’
The impact of the pandemic on private renters has been huge, with many left unable to pay rent. Surveys indicate that one in three private renter households lost income because of the pandemic and lockdown. This was either through redundancy, reduced hours, or furlough. And, if the government doesn’t act, thousands could be at risk of eviction and made homeless. Generation Rent is calling on Rishi Sunak to introduce a Covid Rent Debt Fund. This could support renters in debt and raise Universal Credit to ensure it covers the cost of average rents. There was no mention of support for renters in the Budget 2021 with 840,000 now in arrears according to the National Residential Landlords Association.
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