Here are some of the things that were said and what they might mean for you, whatever your circumstances.
What if I receive Universal Credit?
If you receive Universal Credit for any reason, you’ll continue to receive the additional £20 per week for another 6 months. This was first introduced in April 2020 and was due to come to an end on 6 April this year. Another announcement will be made nearer the end of the upcoming six-month period about whether it will be extended further.
If you receive Working Tax Credit, you’ll also retain the increase in payments. However, this will be in the form of a lump sum payment of £500, to be paid in April 2021.
Both these payments will be made automatically to you, and you won’t need to apply for them.
What if I’m self-employed?
If you’re self-employed and have only set yourself up in the last 18 months, it’s possible that you missed out on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant payment last year. The Government is trying to find out who ended up receiving no support (due to them setting up too late to file a 2019/20 tax return with 2 grants in 2021) and have lost income due to the pandemic.
Do you want to buy a house?
The Chancellor announced 2 measures that may be of interest if you’re looking to buy a home for the first time in the near future.
The first was a government-backed 95% mortgage scheme for properties worth up to £600,000, available from April this year until the end of 2022. Although this is primarily aimed at first-time buyers, unlike the Help to Buy scheme it is not exclusively available to them.
This means that if you’ve been thinking about moving from renting to owning your own home, you can now do so with a much lower deposit saved up. This will be possible because the Government has an agreement in place with some big lenders to guarantee the mortgages and make them more likely to approve them.
Also, the stamp duty holiday for buying properties up to the value of £500,000 has been extended to the end of June this year, having been due to end on 31 March. This could potentially save you up £15,000 if you want to buy a house.
Find out more on how you can get closer to buying your own home.
Are you a victim of domestic abuse or know someone who is?
The government also pledged £19m for domestic abuse services across the country, including £4m for ‘respite rooms’ to support vulnerable and homeless women in England. However, these will not be introduced until 2022/23.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know is currently experiencing or has experienced abuse from a partner, ex-partner or family member in Oxfordshire or West Berkshire, you can speak to our domestic abuse service staff.
What if I have a question?
If you have any queries about the above, you get in touch with us and ask to speak to our Tenancy Sustainment team, who will be happy to speak to you about your finances and related topics.