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Rishi Sunak warned on Budget tax hike but housing moves are welcomed


Rishi Sunak will present his Budget today

Rishi Sunak will present his Budget today


Rishi Sunak will present his Budget today

Measures tipped for tomorrow's Budget including a government guarantee for 95% home loans and extensions to the stamp duty holiday and furlough scheme have been given an advance welcome.

But Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been warned against raising taxes by his Labour opponents, and urged instead to focus on the post-pandemic recovery.

Reports suggested the Chancellor is considering raising corporation tax to as much as 25% from 19%.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said now is "not the time" for tax rises, but signalled that she could support an increase in corporation tax in the future.

Mr Sunak is expected to extend the furlough scheme to the end of June to preserve jobs hit by lockdowns.

According to HMRC, 106,2000 jobs in NI were availing of the scheme at the end of January.

Beyond HR managing director Neil McLeese said an extension would avoid firms having to embark on redundancy. "Redundancy can be expensive, time consuming and emotionally challenging for all parties involved and it is not something firms want to venture into without a clear longer-term view.

"Therefore, an extension of the job retention scheme gives businesses the opportunity to future-proof their business."

The Budget is also expected to contain measures aimed at boosting the housing market and help more young people onto the housing ladder.

They will include extending the stamp duty holiday to the end of June - exempting purchases of below £500,000 from the tax - and introducing government guarantees on 95% mortgages.

NI estate agent John Minnis said the stamp duty holiday will help buyers and sellers here.

"The conveyancing process here can take three months so it will help with the overall sale.

"There had been added pressure to complete transactions by March 31 so any extension to this will be a big help for anyone who would miss the deadline and for anyone selling in England and moving to NI this will help with their sale and their purchase."

He also welcomed the prospect of the return of 95% mortgages.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism said it needed more support.

It wants an extension of the VAT cut to 5% on food and soft drinks for another 12 months and for it to be extended to the broad hospitality industry, including alcoholic drinks sold on-premises.

Belfast Telegraph