Autumn Budget 2017 - How does it affect you?

Here are the key points from Wednesdays scintilatingly interesting Budget!

Stamp duty and housing

§ Stamp duty to be abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. This is bound to apply to lots of people.

§ Reduction will apply immediately in England, Wales and Northern Ireland although the Welsh government will have to decide whether to continue it when stamp duty is devolved in April 2018

§ £44bn in overall government support for housing to meet target of building 300,000 new homes a year by the middle of the next decade

§ Councils given powers to charge 100% council tax premium on empty properties

§ Compulsory purchase of land banked by developers for financial reasons

§ New homelessness task force.  I am sure that will solve the problem!

Alcohol, tobacco and fuel

§ Duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders will be frozen, equating to 1p off a pint of beer and 6p of a typical bottle of wine

§ Fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars scheduled for April 2018 scrapped

§ Vehicle excise duty for cars, vans and motorcycles registered before April 2017 to rise by inflation

§ Vehicle excise duty for new diesel cars not meeting latest standards to rise by one band in April 2018

§ Existing diesel supplement in company car tax to rise by 1%

§ Proceeds to fund a new £220m clean air fund for pollution hotspots in England.  This should definitely solve English, if not global pollution levels.


Personal taxation and wages

§ Tax-free personal allowance on income tax to rise to £11,850 in line with inflation in April 2018

§ Higher-rate tax threshold to increase to £46,350

§ National Living Wage to rise in April 2018 by 4.4%, from £7.50 an hour to £7.83.


State of the Economy

§ Growth forecast for 2017 slashed from 2% to 1.5%

§ Forecasts for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 revised down to 1.4%, 1.3%, 1.5% and 1.6% respectively.

§ Productivity growth revised down by an average of 0.7% a year up to 2023

§ Annual rate of CPI inflation forecast to fall from peak of 3% towards 2% target later this year

§ Another 600,000 people forecast to be in work by 2022

§ £3bn to be set aside over next two years to prepare UK for every possible outcome as UK leaves EU-Will £3Bn will fix the problem?

The state of the public finances

§ Annual government borrowing £49.9bn this year, £8.4bn lower than forecast in March

§ Borrowing forecast to fall in real terms in the subsequent five years from £39.5bn in 2018-19 to £25.6bn in 2022-23.

§ But projected borrowing has been revised up for 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-22, compared to March, due to the weaker economic outlook and expected lower tax yields

§ Public sector net borrowing forecast to fall from 3.8% of GDP last year to 2.4% this year, then 1.9%, 1.6%, 1.5% and 1.3% in subsequent years, reaching 1.1% in 2022-23.

§ Debt will peak at 86.5% of GDP this year, then fall to 86.4% next year; then 86.1%, 83.1% and 79.3% in subsequent years, reaching 79.1% in 2022-23.


Welfare and pensions

§ £1.5bn package to "address concerns" about the delivery of universal credit

Business and digital

§ VAT threshold for small business to remain at £85,000 for two years

§ £500m support for 5G mobile networks, full fibre broadband and artificial intelligence

§ £540m to support the growth of electric cars, including more charging points

§ A further £2.3bn allocated for investment in research and development

§ Rises in business rates to be pegged to CPI measure of inflation, not higher RPI, a cut of £2.3bn

§ Digital economy royalties relating to UK sales which are paid to a low-tax jurisdiction to be subject to income tax as part of tax avoidance clampdown. Expected to raise about £200m a year

§ Capital gains tax relief for overseas buyers of UK commercial property to be phased out, with exemptions for foreign pension funds

§ Charges on single-use plastic items to be looked at

§ £30m to develop digital skills distance learning courses

Education and health

§ £40m teacher training fund for underperforming schools in England. Worth £1,000 per teacher

§ 8,000 new computer science teachers to be recruited at cost of £84m and new National Centre for Computing to be set up

§ Secondary schools and sixth-form colleges to get £600 for each additional pupil taking maths or further maths at A-level and core maths at an expected cost of £177m

§ £2.8bn in extra funding for the NHS in England

§ £350m immediately to address pressures this winter, £1.6bn for 2018-19 and the remainder in 2019-20

§ £10bn capital investment fund for hospitals up to 2022

§ No extra funding for nurses pay but a guarantee that if future pay rises are recommended by independent body, there will be new money


§ £1.7bn city region transport fund, to be shared between six regions with elected mayors and other areas.  Unfortunately this is a drop in the ocean, particularly when compared to the tens of Billions being spent on rail and air links to improve transport to London and the South East.


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