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Household support fund
The Chancellor confirmed that he would double the amount made available to the Household Support Funds operated by local Councils. The fund provides short-term financial support to vulnerable households struggling to afford household essentials.

Business rates relief and exemptions
It was announced that the business rates multiplier is to be frozen in 2022-23 and the retail, hospitality and leisure industry is to be allowed a 50 per cent cut on business rates up to £110,000.

Further business rates measures included the introduction of targeted business rate exemptions from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2035 for eligible plant and machinery used in onsite renewable energy generation and storage, and a 100% relief for eligible low-carbon heat networks with their own rates bill, to support the decarbonisation of non-domestic buildings.

Fraud
As part of an increased initiative to prevent fraud, the Chancellor announced the creation of a new Public Sector Fraud Authority with the remit ‘to tackle waste and inefficiency across the public sector’. The authority is to work with counter-fraud work being undertaken by the British Business Bank and the National Intelligence Service.

Apprenticeship levy
The take-up of the Apprenticeship Levy has been disappointing. Calls from employers’ representatives for a more flexible scheme resulted in the Chancellor announcing that the current scheme is to be reviewed to see what can be done to encourage employers to invest in adult training.

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