Silhouetted anonymous Royal Marines on a joint personnel recovery exercise on Dartmoor

Budget 2020: Businesses To Get Tax Break When Employing Veterans

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has revealed plans to boost employment among former personnel.

Silhouetted anonymous Royal Marines on a joint personnel recovery exercise on Dartmoor

Businesses are set to receive a tax break when employing military veterans in a bid to get more ex-service members into work. 

The Chancellor, who unveiled the Budget earlier today, announced on Monday that businesses will pay no National Insurance contributions for the first year of a veterans' employment.

The strategy come as part of efforts to boost employment rate within the veteran community.

Rishi Sunak said on Twitter that the country owes military veterans "a tremendous debt" and that he will confirm the tax break in the Budget announcement later today.

"In my budget on Wednesday I'll announce that employers will no longer pay National Insurance Contributions for ex-forces personnel for the first year of their work," the Chancellor tweeted.

"They do a job we help them get a job."

Organisations promoting ex-forces employment have welcomed the announcement. 

National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry OBE, said he welcomes the move.

"FSB has asked for this as a way to stimulate the employment of veterans in small firms," he said.

"For veterans seeking employment, small businesses can often be better than bigger ones at spotting and nurturing talent, rather than discard a service leaver’s job application because some of their skills and qualifications aren’t necessarily from a traditional academic route.

"Helping to ease the costs will let small businesses benefit from the unique attributes that veterans can bring to enterprise, whilst giving the opportunity to those who have served to contribute to and thrive within the civilian economy."

The Government's Career Transition Partnership (CTP) seeks to help those leaving the military to enter the workplace. 

Recent statistics show of the 2018/19 UK regular service leavers who used a billable CTP service, 6% are unemployed. 

However, Deputy Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute Malcolm Chambers, told Forces News that the tax break could just be another "symbol of caring about veterans" and said it was hard to properly comment given the lack of "fine details".

Anonymous British soldiers boots

Additional funding for the mental health of veterans is to be injected - a £10 million uplift in 2020-21 to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

It aims to support former service personnel with mental health needs through the delivery of charitable projects and initiatives.

Overall counter-terrorism expenditure is to go up by £114 million in 2020-21, including an additional £31 million for the UK intelligence community.

Defence research and development is to be boosted with an additional £100 million, whilst the government is to deliver an extra £50 million to the National Security Strategic Investment Fund.

The Budget is also expected to address the coronavirus outbreak, with promises already made to offer the NHS whatever it requires in dealing with the spread of COVID-19.

Boris Johnson said last week that the British Army is "ready to backfill" for the police "as and when" required in response to coronavirus.

Cover Image: (Picture: Royal Navy).