July 8, 2020 / 9:00 AM / a month ago

FACTBOX-What we know about UK finance minister Sunak's spending plans

LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) - Finance minister Rishi Sunak will spell out new measures to revitalise Britain’s economy and protect jobs from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic when he updates parliament on Wednesday.

Here’s what we know already about Sunak’s announcement, due at around 1130 GMT.

WORK PLACEMENT SCHEME

A 2 billion-pound ($2.5 billion) Kickstart Scheme will enable employers to offer six-month work placements to unemployed young people aged 16-24, using government funds to pay them the national minimum wage for 25 hours a week.

The Resolution Foundation think tank estimated the programme could help up to 300,000 young people into work.

GREEN ECONOMY FUNDING

Sunak has earmarked 3 billion pounds ($3.75 billion) to improve the energy efficiency of homes and public buildings, and support more than 100,000 jobs, the finance ministry said.

The funds comprise 2 billion pounds in grants — worth up to 5,000 pounds each — to cover two thirds of the costs of insulation and double-glazing of windows. The poorest families will receive up to 10,000 pounds without having to pay anything.

The remaining 1 billion pounds will be spent on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from public-sector buildings.

WORK COACHES

The government will double the number of its job coaches to 27,000 at a cost of 800 million pounds ($997 million), the finance ministry said.

TRAINEESHIPS

Sunak will announce the investment of 111 million pounds to triple the number of traineeships lasting from six weeks to six months. Businesses will receive 1,000 pounds for every trainee offered a work experience placement.

TAX BREAKS?

Sunak will give homebuyers a tax break and cut value-added tax for pubs, restaurants and other hospitality firms, British newspapers have reported.

Sunak will say he will raise the property tax threshold to as high as 500,000 pounds ($623,700), four times its current level, the reports said.

The Sun said the change would be introduced immediately.

Sunak will also announce a temporary VAT cut for hospitality firms to protect 2.4 million jobs in the sector, which began to reopen on July 4, The Times said. (Reporting by Andy Bruce Editing by William Schomberg)

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