You can’t have missed the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, was on his feet in the House of Commons making his annual speech today.

It was his second Budget plan, the first coming just ahead of and, overshadowed by, the first lockdown last year.

Digging deep

His plans involve record borrowing in the region of that needed for both World Wars. Trillions is the the bye-word. They are frightening figures, loans that will take more than a decade to repay.

Luckily, with interest rates at record lows for borrowing, the Chancellor can utilise this to support the economy from the huge hit taken by the pandemic and lockdowns. Whether it is enough or in the right places, only time will tell.

Along with extending the furlough scheme and SEISS support for the self-employed, he also found money to give support to a number of the newly self-employed who missed out previously. The details of how they will formulate what will be available to approximately 600,000 newly self-employed is not clear. However, it will bring some welcome relief to a number of new driving instructors out there.

The key points that directly affect driving instructors are:

• The fourth SEISS grant, which covers February, March and April, will now be worth 80% of trading profits for three months, capped at £7,500. The applications for this will open in April (date to be announced).

• More than 600,000 newly self-employed people who have previously been excluded, can now apply. Previously you must have filed a tax return for 2018/19 to apply, now those who’ve filed a 2019/20 (by midnight yesterday 2/3/21) return may also be eligible.

• A fifth self-employed grant is available, covering May to September. The value of this grant will be determined by a turnover test. People whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive the full grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500. People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, capped at £2,850. The final grant can be claimed from late July.

• The furlough scheme is extended until the end of September.

• Universal Credit top-up of £20-per-week will continue for a further six months.

• Fuel duty has also been frozen.

Business taxes

Rishi Sunak also says he will raise corporation tax to 25% in 2023 to help claw back some of the pandemic spending. He is creating a Small Profits Rate to ensure only businesses with profits of over £250,000 will be taxed at the 25% rate. The Small Profits rate is 19% for businesses with profits under 50k.

The current 100% business rates holiday in England will continue from April until June

More details and information

The GOV.UK link.

More details here.

And here.