Chancellor Rishi Sunak sets out budget plan for 2021

Everything you need to know as the chancellor has delivered a budget dominated by the battle to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Chancellor says Covid has ‘hit economy hard’ as he unveils tax changes, furlough details and initiatives to protect jobs

The following key points from Sunak’s budget speech today:

• Government will continue doing “whatever it takes” to support British people and businesses as well as starting to fix public finances and beginning to build the future economy

• Economy expected to return to pre-COVID levels by the middle of next year, six months earlier than previously thought

• GDP growth forecast for this year downgraded to 4% (from 5.5%) according to Office for Budget Responsibility

• Unemployment expected to peak at 6.5%, lower than the 11.9% forecast in July

• Chancellor confirms furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September, with the government paying 80% of salary though employers will asked to put in 10% from July and 20% from August

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