This afternoon, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the Government’s Budget for 2021.
As expected, it combined high levels of ongoing support for the economy extending past the expected easing of lockdown restrictions over the summer, with the first moves to begin reining in the eye-wateringly high deficit through an increase in corporation tax and freezing of personal allowances, both coming in in 2022. Alongside this we had a raft of mostly-expected announcements to flesh out the Build Back Better agenda including:
- More information on the scope and operations of the Infrastructure bank, to be located in Leeds
- Details on the levelling up fund
- The first eight freeports announced, along with a number of city deals
- Low carbon infrastructure funding announcements for specific projects covering hydrogen, offshore wind and biomass
The Budget also included specific measures to boost investment and skills, such as the super deduction capital allowance and uplift to the apprenticeship fee.
Capital spending plans are largely unchanged from the November 2020 One Year Spending review, which points to a potentially challenging longer term CSR this Autumn.
ACE chief executive Hannah Vickers has commented publicly on the Budget: "The Chancellor today rightly combined ongoing support for business with steps to ensure we ‘build back better’. The built environment sector is the engine room of the economy and the freeports and city deals announcements are exactly the sort of holistic, low carbon regeneration programmes we need to simultaneously create jobs, level up opportunities and hit Net Zero ambitions. But the Infrastructure Bank must also play its part, whilst avoiding getting fixated on individual project deals."
To help you digest the key announcements, we have created an exclusive member-only briefing which you can download below.