The Government also announced a package of housing measures to support the objectives of promoting the long-term stability of the housing market and supporting homeowners facing difficulties. Bringing forward of investment in new social housing stock will help the 5,510 households deemed in priority need of housing in the South East.
As part of a fiscal stimulus package, there will be a temporary reduction in the standard rate of VAT to 15 per cent from 1 December 2008 until 31 December 2009 to provide further support for growth and incomes during the economic downturn. This is the equivalent, for the average household, of £275 a year for extra spending.
The Government is also bringing forward £3bn of capital spending from 2010-11 to 2008-09 and 2009-10. Bringing forward valuable public investment will impact directly on economic activity in the UK, in particular supporting the construction sector, which is expected to be disproportionately affected by the economic downturn.
The Chancellor has also announced a substantial package of measures to ensure that those facing redundancy and those seeking employment are helped back into work as quickly and efficiently as possible. This will help with the 45,385 job vacancies that were reported to Jobcentre Plus in the South East in October 2008.