Everyone in the country could be up to £10,500 better off by the end of the day thanks to voucher schemes being announced by Rishi Sunak in his Corona-Budget.
The scheme are among billions of pounds of investment set to be announced today designed to get people spending, and to generate jobs.
There is also set to be a freeze on stamp duty – which will save the average house buyer more than £2,250 – and the Government is said to be planning to pay the wages of under 25-year-ods for six months.
There is also set to be an announcement on more staff in Jobcentres, £1.6bn for the arts sector and £3bn in ‘green’ investment for homes and commercial premises, reports The Mirror.
£5,000 vouchers for home improvements
Thousands of households could be handed vouchers for home improvements as part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s pledge to cut energy bills and make homes greener.
Under the Green Homes Grant, families will receive vouchers of up to £5,000 for energy-saving changes, such as a new boiler, with the poorest getting up to £10,000.
The initiative could also also create thousands of new jobs for plumbers, builders and tradesmen, the Treasury said.
Homeowners will be able to spend the cash on loft, wall and floor insulation, eco-friendly boilers, heat pumps, double or triple-glazed windows, low-energy lighting and energy-efficient doors.
Under the grant, the government will pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy.
For example, if a homeowner of a semi-detached or end-of-terrace house spent £4,000 on installing cavity wall and floor insulation, the household would pay £1,320 and the government would contribute £2,680.
The scheme will launch in September, and could save some people £600 a year on energy bills.
“As Britain recovers from the outbreak, it’s vital we do everything in our power to support and protect livelihoods across the nation,” he said.
Wednesday’s statement could also include an update on the new smart meter drive, with plans to ramp up installation numbers across the UK.
The Department for Business estimates that smart meters could save consumers up to £250 on their bills, while slashing countrywide carbon emissions by 45 million tonnes – the equivalent of taking 26 million cars off the road for a year.
£500 high street shopping vouchers for all adults and kids
Rishi Sunak is also considering a new £500 shopping initiative to help restart the economy, following the coronavirus lockdown.
Under the proposals, every adult would be handed £500 and every child £250, to help inject cash back into the high street.
The Resolution Foundation, which suggested the idea ahead of Wednesday’s Budget, said the £30billion scheme could save hundreds of thousands of jobs amid a looming recession.
It said the vouchers would be valid in sectors that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, such as bars, restaurants and hotels.
The vouchers would be universal, delivered as coupons or smartcards and activated over 12 months.
It would be a one-off, non-refundable £500, as opposed to several monthly payments.
Similar versions of the scheme already exist in China, Taiwan and Malta where they can be spent at pubs, cultural venues, hotels and on rail transport. They cannot be used online or to purchase goods such as cigarettes, stocks, or coupons.
James Smith, at the Resolution Foundation, said: “A universal ‘High Street Voucher’ scheme – worth £500 per adult and £250 per child – would kickstart demand in the right parts of our economy, boost living standards and deliver targeted support to the businesses that need help the most.
“The Chancellor has already shown that big, bold measures like the Job Retention Scheme are welcome and necessary in the current economic climate. He should take this same approach as we enter the crucial recovery phase of the crisis.”
The main Budget is due to follow in the autumn, when the Chancellor will take a closer look at the economy and introduce more measures, alongside the usual forecasts.
The autumn statement is likely to include more about how the UK will foot the coronavirus bill, with tax rises on the cards and the state pension ‘triple lock’ at risk.