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Budget 2020: Here's everything that you need to know

Edmund Heaphy
·Finance and news reporter
·3-min read
Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivers his Budget in the House of Commons, London.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivers his Budget in the House of Commons. (PA Photo/House of Commons)

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday announced his first ever budget, including a £30bn coronavirus spending package, and more than £600bn in infrastructure spending.

The measures, which represent a marked increase in both capital and day-to-day spending, will be financed primarily by a significant increase in government borrowing.

Here are the key announcements made by Sunak in his speech in the House of Commons:

Coronavirus response

  • The government will spend “whatever it takes” on the National Health Service, and announced a £5bn emergency response package

  • Statutory sick pay will be paid to all those who self-isolate, even if they do not have coronavirus symptoms

  • Some £2bn has been set aside to cover up to 14 days of sick pay for employees at businesses with fewer that 250 employees

  • £500m will be provided to local authorities to directly support vulnerable people

  • The abolition of business rates for retail, leisure, and hospitality firms that have a rateable value of less than £51,000

  • A new coronavirus loan scheme will see the government part-guarantee “business interruption” loans of up to £1.2m to small and medium-sized businesses

  • Around 700,000 of the country’s smallest businesses will be eligible for a £3,000 cash grant

Environmental measures

  • Some £800m will be spent on carbon capture technology before 2030

  • A plastic packaging tax will come into force in April 2022

  • £5.2bn will be spent on improving flood defences over the next five years

  • Some £120m in funding will be made immediately available for flood damage repairs

  • The government will spend £500m on new rapid electric car charging hubs

  • Manufacturers and importers will be charged £200 per tonne on products made from less than 30% recyclable material

  • Fuel subsidies for off-road vehicles will be scrapped in two years time, except for famers and rail operators

  • The government will spend £640m on a climate fund to protect the UK’s natural habitats

Taxation, personal spending, and wages

  • The threshold for paying National Insurance contributions will rise from £8,632 to £9,500, which will save workers over £100 per year

  • Duties on spirits, beer, cider, and wine will be frozen

  • VAT charges on books, newspapers, magazines and academic journals will be abolished

  • VAT will also be abolished on female sanitary product, such as tampons

Infrastructure, technology and housing spending

  • Over £600bn will be spend on roads, railway, broadband, and housing by the middle of 2025

  • The government will spend £5bn to expand gigabit rural broadband connectivity

  • The affordable housing programme, which will receive £12bn in extra funding, will be expanded

  • A new pothole fund of £500m per year will allow authorities to fix up to 50 million potholes

  • The government will spend an extra £900m on research into nuclear fusion, space, and electric vehicles

  • The Science Institute in Weybridge will get a £1.4bn funding boost

  • £800m will be spent on a new research agency, which will be modelled on the Advanced Research Projects Agency in America

Read more: What the 2020 Budget means for your finances

Devolved governments

  • Westminster will provide an extra £640m in spending by the Scottish government, £360m for Wales, and £210m for Northern Ireland