Wednesday March 11th -  Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivers the 2020 budget update to the House of Commons. Presenting to the Deputy Speaker and an animated crowd, many tuned in to watch the update live on tv and through streaming platforms.

The first budget as a non-EU state is dubbed to be ‘the biggest public spending package on record', with a £600 billion to fuel a “decade of growth for everybody”.

Nearly all types of businesses will be impacted somehow by the changes, so we’ve compiled a quick guide to help you get up to speed.

key budget 2020 facts:

  • when will the 2020 budget happen?
    changes are expected to be delivered by mid-2025
  • how much is being invested in the 2020 budget?
    £600 billion
  • national Living Wage
    projected to be over £10.50 an hour by 2024.
  • coronavirus/COVID-19
    £12bn to help UK economy respond to the virus
  • how much is being invested into the NHS?
    £6 billion

top four things to know about the 2020 budget:

  1. salary and tax
  2. healthcare
  3. construction
  4. education

the most ambitious investment in infrastructure and innovation ever.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak - 2020

salary and tax.

National living wage is now expected to be over £10.50 in 2024. 

Benefits to business include the new ability to be able to employ four full-time employees on the National Living Wage without paying any employer National Insurance contributions (NICs). NICs Employment Allowance is being increased to £4,000, a measure that promises a benefit around 510,000 businesses, including around 65,000 businesses which will be taken out of paying NICs entirely.

The Budget also confirms a tax cut for 31 million working people with the increase in the National Insurance contributions (NICs) thresholds for employees and the self-employed. This is predicted to save the typical employee around £104 and a typical self-employed person around £78 in 2020-21. Couples with the increases to the minimum wage and to the Personal Allowance, an employee working full-time on the national living wage anywhere in the UK will be over £5,200 better off compared to April 2010.


The government will invest in hospitals, including over £100 million in 2020‑21 to make progress on 40 new hospital projects. 

Money is to be invested into the NHS in the form of staffing, promising a significant funding package to improve the recruitment, training and retention of nurses in England, ensuring there are 50,000 more in the NHS alone. 

Further improvements to healthcare include creating 50 million more GP surgery appointments a year in England by funding the Department for Health and Social Care and the NHS to train, recruit and retain up to 6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals, such as physiotherapists and pharmacists.


The Budget announces a £12 billion plan to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses, whose finances are affected by COVID-19. This includes a £5 billion COVID-19 response fund to ensure the NHS and other public services receive the funding they need to respond to the outbreak as the situation develops, and recover and return to normal afterwards. For individuals, it includes extending Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for those advised to self-isolate, and those caring for others who self-isolate, for up to two weeks per employee. 


the construction industry. 

Over the next five years, an average of £120 billion per year will be spent on roads, railways, broadband, housing. Adding another £100 billion to the Government's existing infrastructure plans, a £600 billion investment presents an exciting opportunity for the construction, property, engineering and rail fields for rapid growth across the country and new job opportunities for large scale projects such as east-west railway and HS2 looking to connect the country. Mr Sunak pledged to "get Britain building" with this year’s announcement, here’s how that will happen:


The UK’s network of roads should be getting a well-deserved revamp. £27bn will be invested in the nation’s roads in total, while £2.5bn has been set aside to fix potholes exclusively, apparently enough to fill “50 million potholes by the end of this parliament”. 

£500m will also be invested to support the rollout of new rapid charging hubs, so that drivers are never more than 30 miles away from being able to charge up their car. 

flood defence.

The Government promises that the nation will benefit from double the amount spent on flood defences between 2015 to 2021, bringing that figure to £5.2bn. This is due to be delivered between 2021 and 2027. This will help offer better protection from flooding for 336,000 homes and non-residential properties.


The government is investing £20 million to develop the Midlands Rail Hub, progressing plans for a major programme of improvements to rail services between the regions’ cities. HS2 has already been given the go-ahead, planned for 2026.


Housebuilding is also seeing an injection of cash. The government has today committed to a £10.9 billion increase in housing investment to support the commitment to build at least 1 million new homes by the end of the Parliament, and an average of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. The UK housebuilding boom looks like it’s set to continue, and as we face a demand for technical and professional workers with residential market experience, demand for housebuilders will continue to rise. We’re expecting to see a rise in demand in construction roles in general, from qualified site managers and quantity surveyors, to labourers and ground workers.


reading tax.

Parliament today welcomed the abolishment of  VAT on reading materials. The scrapping of the so-called  “reading tax”, will result in no VAT on digital books, newspapers and magazines from 1st December.

The Chancellor told the Commons: “Digital publications are subject to VAT. That can’t be right. So today I’m abolishing the Reading Tax. From the 1st December, just in time for Christmas, books, newspapers, magazines or academic journals, however they are read, will have no VAT charge whatsoever.”


Building on the 2019 spending round which committed to £7.1bn cash increase in school funding by 2022/23, the government announced plans to provide an extra £29 million per year by 2023-24 to support primary school PE teaching and help schools make the best use of their sports facilities, as well as £90 million per year to introduce an Arts Premium from September 2021 to help schools provide high-quality arts programmes and extracurricular activities for pupils.