On the 22 November 2017 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, delivered his second major Budget within the space of a year.
The autumn budget commenced with key facts including a near record high for employment within the UK. The chancellor also discussed the decrease of borrowing by three quarters since 2010, and the government’s plan to set aside an extra £3bn in preparation for Brexit.
The headline stories to come from the Autumn budget were arguably the abolishment of Stamp duty land tax for first time buyers who purchase a home valued at less than £300,000, which will reportedly benefit 95% of first time buyers, and The Office for Budget Responsibility revising down the outlook for productivity growth, business investment and GDP growth over the next five years:
- 2017: 1.5% (down from 2% forecast in March)
- 2018: 1.4% (1.6%)
- 2019: 1.3% (1.7%)
- 2020: 1.3% (1.9%)
- 2021: 1.5% (2%)
- 2022: 1.6%.
Next to come from the agenda was the national living wage and tax free personal allowance, which have both seen an increase. The national living wage will increase from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour from April 2018. The tax free personal allowance will continue to rise with inflation and the new threshold will stand at £11,850.
Within the education sector, the concentration on Maths was high. With the announcement that schools will get an extra £600 for every student that takes on A-Level or core maths in conjunction with the dramatic increase to funding for maths across 3,000 schools.
From April 2018 business rates will no longer be measured and influenced by the retail price index, instead they will rise in line with consumer price index, which is a lower way of measuring inflation. Business rate re-evaluations have also been decreased and are set to take place every 3 years, rather than the previous 5 years.
The final key point the Chancellor of the Exchequer discussed was the government’s plan to change international corporate tax rules in the near future to ensure all online and digital companies are paying a fair amount of tax. This will aid the process of stopping tax avoidance within the UK online business sector.