The Autumn Budget was loaded with facts and figures. Here we breakdown the main points:
Economic and productivity growth revision
Chancellor Philip Hammond’s address focussed on the statistics provided by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR).
· Low productivity forecast – No significant growth since the financial recession (2010).
· Continued borrowing of billions over the next few years due to low productivity.
· Forecasted to drop by 1.3 per cent by 2020.
Removal of Stamp Duty
Perhaps the hottest topic of the budget is the removal of Stamp Duty for new homeowners on properties less than £300,000.
· Aim is to increase the number of homeowners in the UK, on average saving £1,300 per household.
· Alongside the increase in prices of 0.3 per cent, will the average saving be enough of an incentive?
The NHS budget, a government sector constantly under examination faces similar problems due to the newly announced budget.
- The budget announced £2.8bn extra money for the NHS budget, spread across the years leading up to 2020, with £350 million being added to the budget for this winter.
- However, NHS Chiefs requested an extra £1.3bn (£4bn total).
Having already being increased once this year in the Spring Budget, Cigarettes and Tobacco have been subject to another rise.
· Cigarettes have been subject to a two per-cent plus inflation rise, a 4.9 per-cent rise total.
· Rolling Tobacco has gone up by a further one per-cent on top of this.
Higher duty on Diesel cars
Mr Hammond announced that as of April 2018, higher polluting diesel cars will be subject to a one off rise in tax. New cars brought will come with a higher rate of duty for their first year of ownership. This will not affect what the Chancellor called the “White Van Man”.
A new railcard
Part of the budgets attempt to appeal to young people was the introduction of a new rail card for 26-30 year olds, giving discounts of up to a third on rail fares.
Fuel duty was once again kept frozen. The current rate has been held since the 2011 budget
Duty on Beer, Wine and Spirits has been frozen at the current levels, but cheaper high strength ciders will be subject to a new duty in an attempt to combat Binge drinking
The Living Wage
· The Living Wage was raised from £7.50 to £7.83 for those in the 25+ age bracket,
· Wages for 21-24 year olds are going up too to £7.38 from £7.05.
· 18-20 year olds will see wages rise to £5.90 an hour
· 16-17 year olds will now earn a minimum of £4.20 an hour
· Finally, the minimum wage for an apprentice has risen to £3.70
· However, these rises are far below the real living wage set out by living wage foundation.