Budget 2021: When is the spring budget? What we might expect from Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak announces £4.5 billion in lockdown business support

Rishi Sunak replaced the former chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid just weeks before the 2020 Budget. Since then, he has become a household name and has been key to the government’s financial response to the coronavirus pandemic, unveiling a raft of measures from a furlough scheme to the self-employed grants.

Last year’s Budget was dubbed ‘the coronavirus Budget’ thanks to the sweeping measures Mr Sunak put in place.

But a year later, and with the end of the pandemic still nowhere in sight, it seems 2021’s Budget may need to look again at the financial support available.

With Covid infection levels and deaths still rising, one can expect the outbreak to be front and centre of Mr Sunak’s announcements.

But what can we expect this time around, and when is the budget due? Express rounds up all you need to know about the upcoming 20201 UK Budget.

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When is the 2021 budget?

Rishi Sunak will unveil his spring budget on March 3, 2021 – almost exact a year after he first took the podium as Chancellor in the 2020 budget on March 11.

The announcement is expected to be made shortly after midday.

A statement from the Government announcing the budget date in December read: “The Budget will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs and will be published alongside the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).”

What will the budget include?

The Chancellor has remained tight lipped on what we could expect in the 2021 Budget.

Speaking earlier this week, he said: “Since the start of the pandemic we’ve invested over £280 billion to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK and support our economy and public services.

“This has clearly been the fiscally responsible thing to do. But as I’ve said before, once our economy begins to recover, we should look to return the public finances to a more sustainable footing.”

However, one thing we know for sure is that we will finally hear more about the fourth SEISS grant.


Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis revealed details of the fourth self employed payment won’t come until March 3, saying: “The fourth grant period is to cover the months February, March and April.

“Yet the confirmation I’ve just had from the Treasury is that there will not be an announcement made on the amount of that grant, and who’s eligible for that grant, until the Budget which is on March 3.

“So over a month after the grant period starts, there won’t be news on exactly how much money you can get and who is going to get it.”

A Treasury spokesperson confirmed: “Details of the fourth self-employed income support scheme grant will be outlined at Budget.”

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The Job Retention scheme is due to end in April 2021 as it stands.

But with growing speculation the current UK lockdown will still be in place long into the spring, there have been calls for this, too, to be extended.

The Times reports Mr Sunak is expected to extended the scheme on March 3, but this has not been confirmed by the Government as yet.

Stamp Duty

The Stamp Duty holiday is due to end on March 31, and some experts have called for the six-month break to be extended.

The holiday has helped fuel a surge in the housing market, with many buyers and sellers racing to complete their purchases before the scheme expires.

It is thought the end of the scheme could see house prices plummet, but as yet there is no suggestion from the Treasury about whether the scheme could be extended.

However, there’s also speculation Stamp Duty could be scrapped altogether – along with Council Tax – and replaced with a Property Tax.

Tax hikes

The Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto ruled out increases in income tax, National Insurance and Value Added Tax.

But the Chancellor is said to be planning a huge increase in corporation tax in March, which could see rates rise to as high as 23 percent.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit claimants have received a weekly £20 rise during the coronavirus pandemic – a lifeline for many unable to work.

The Treasury has come under increased pressure to extended the rise past March 31, but the Government has been insistent the measure was only “temporary”.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Andrew Marr the Budget would spell out support “in the round”.

He added: “Obviously in March there will be a Budget where again that holistic approach can be taken by the chancellor, but we’ve put that support in place to make sure that the most vulnerable communities can be protected at this very difficult time.”

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