BFM continues to support its members through participation in the British Furniture Confederation. The budget response recorded four important wins for the furniture industry......

BFM Response to Budget

BFM continues to support its members through participation in the British Furniture Confederation. The budget response recorded four important wins for the furniture industry.

In advance of the Budget, on 2 March 2021, the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) made four key requests of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The first, in December 2020, was to introduce a phased withdrawal of the Stamp Duty Holiday. The following three request were then made in correspondence with the Government, in February 2021:

  • Extend the Job Retention Scheme (furlough)
  • Extend the VAT deferral period
  • Extend the Business Rates holiday

The BFC argued that this support will help the UK furniture industry return to pre-pandemic levels of business, support 330,000 jobs in the sector and nearly £17 billion of annual consumer expenditure.

In the 2021 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer responded positively to all four requests and the Government committed to the following:

  • Temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) cut – The Government will extend the temporary increase in the residential SDLT Nil Rate Band to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland until 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021, the Nil Rate Band will reduce to £250,000 until 30 September 2021 before returning to £125,000 on 1 October 2021.
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – The Government is extending the CJRS for a further five months from May until the end of September 2021. Employees will continue to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. There will be no employer contributions beyond National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pensions required in April, May and June. From July, the Government will introduce an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September, as the economy reopens.
  • VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme – Any business that took advantage of the original VAT deferral on VAT returns from 20 March through to the end of June 2020 will now be able to opt to use the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme to pay that deferred VAT in up to eleven equal payments from March 2021, rather than one larger payment due by 31 March 2021, as originally announced.
  • Business rates reliefs – The Government will continue to provide eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England with 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.