Where’s the help for growers?

The HTA has criticised today’s mini budget with comments such as a missed opportunity and unlikely to have much impact amongst horticulture businesses.

The jobs retention bonus:

The Job Retention Bonus will see companies paid £1,000 for each furloughed worker they bring back and keep until January.

According to the HTA, “This is unlikely to have much impact amongst horticulture businesses. The Government would be much better placed ensuring that post-Brexit trade does not increase costs and cause harm, providing our members with confidence to invest in jobs and training for the next season.”

Eat Out to Help Out:

Everyone in Britain will be given a 50% discount, up to £10 a head, on meals out during August, at participating restaurants, pubs, cafes.  It will apply to food and non-alcoholic drinks between Monday and Wednesday. Restaurants will be able to claim the cost back and receive the money within five days.

The HTA says, “We are working on the assumption that garden centre cafes will be included, but need to see the specifics details – expected on Monday – for how this will work in practice. It needs to be simple and easy for garden centres to administer.”

Green recovery

The chancellor said that the government would oversee a “green recovery”, with a new £2 billion grant scheme to cover the cost of insulation and other measures to make homes more energy efficient.

The HTA says, “The Government has missed the opportunity to use the ‘green economy’ as a way to protect, develop and grow the economy…  [It] omitted support for Britain's growers, who play a vital role in meeting this country’s environmental targets. We hope the Government will announce long-awaited support for our under-pressure sector, soon.”

Temporary reduction in VAT on food in hospitality:

The government is cutting VAT on hospitality and leisure, including pubs, restaurants, cafés, hotels and attractions, from 20% to 5% until January.

The HTA says, “A reduction in VAT should have been extended to the wider retail industry, particularly on plants to help to continue to support our British growers and garden centres.”

Other measures announced include:

  • a £2 billion “kickstart” scheme that would pay for six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on universal credit
  • A stamp duty holiday, which will run from now until March 31 next year, which is intended to kickstart the housing market.
  • £1,000 grant per trainee for employers who take on new trainees aged 16-24 in England.
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