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Budgets and Statements

Spring Budget 2017

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, delivered his Spring Budget to Parliament on 8 March 2017.

Building a stronger, fairer, better Britain, outside the EU.

The new forecasts that Mr Hammond was given by the Office for Budget Responsibility provided little scope for big giveaways unless the chancellor was willing to borrow more. But he did find extra money for stretched social care services and to help some small businesses with rates rises, by raising taxes on the self-employed.

Business announcements:

  • ‘Making Tax Digital’ reforms require businesses and landlords with turnover above the VAT registration threshold (£85,000 for 2017/18) to make quarterly online reports updating their tax position; businesses below the threshold will not be affected until April 2019 (when turnover threshold will be £10,000).
  • 3 measures relating to Business Rates were announced:
    • Businesses coming out of small business rate relief will have an additional cap meaning that any bill increase for the next year will not be more then a £50 a month.
    • A £1,000 discount will be introduced in 2017 for pubs with a rateable value of less than £10,000.
    • A £3,000 million discretionary fund will be made available to local authorities to target individual businesses that are struggling with rate rises.

Personal announcements:

  • National insurance contributions - main rate of class 4 national insurance contributions will increase to 10% in April 2018 and 11% in April 2019.
  • Dividend allowance - the tax-free dividend allowance will reduce from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.
  • Tax-free childcare - from September 2017, working parents with 3 and 4 year old children will have their tax-free entitlement doubled to 30 hours a week.
  • Social care - £2 billon extra funding for adult social care in England will carry over the next 3 years with £1 billion available in 2018.
  • T-Levels - the government will introduce T-Levels which aim to make the technical qualification system clearer.
  • Maintenance loans - it will offered to part-time undergraduates and doctoral loans for all subjects for the first time. Then following measures previously announced have been confirmed:
    • National living wage will rise to £7.50 from April 2017
    • Personal allowance will rise to £11,500 and the higher rate threshold to £45,000
    • NS&I Bond will be available from April, paying 2.2% on deposits up to £3,000

Other highlights:

  • Sugar tax has bought in less cash than expected, and would be set between 18p and 24p a litre, with the proceeds going to the Department for Education to fund sports for children.
  • Investment in technical education for 16 to 19 year old rising to over £500 million and £300 million investment for new academic research placements.
  • 5G Technology £16 million for a national 5G Innovation Network to trial new 5G technology and £200 million for local projects to build fast and reliable full-fibre broadband networks.
  • ISA The Lifetime ISA will allow younger adults to save up to £4,000 each year and receive a bonus of up to £1,000 a year on these contributions.
  • Funds can be withdrawn tax-free to put towards a first home or saved until a person turns 60.
  • Under the Chancellor's new fiscal timetable, the next Budget will be held this Autumn, followed by a Spring Statement in 2018.

Autumn Budget 2017

Philip Hammond has unveiled a gloomy forecast for Britain's growth and a £3 billion fund to prepare for a no-deal Brexit in his second Budget as Chancellor. But there was some good news for small businesses and some extra funding for the NHS. And first-time buyers will see a huge cut to stamp duty - even though experts say it might raise house prices leaving them back at Square One. The Chancellor attempted to fight back after a shambolic first Budget and months of in-fighting with his own Cabinet over Brexit.

With immediate effect: new announcements

  • From 22 November 2017, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) abolished for first time buyers on homes costing up to £300,000.
  • From 29 November 2017, Marriage Allowance can be claimed to transfer the benefit of 10% of the personal allowance after the transferring spouse has died.
  • For tax year 2017/18, unincorporated property business landlords will have the option to use simpler fixed rate deductions for miles travelled by car, motorcycle or goods vehicle for business journeys.
  • From 6 April 2017, anti-avoidance measures will tackle ‘disguised remuneration’ schemes used by closely controlled companies to remunerate employees who have a material interest.

From 1 January 2018: new announcements

  • Indexation allowance will be frozen at January 2018.
  • Research and Development Expenditure Credit increases from 11% to 12% with effect from 1 January 2018.

From April 2018: new announcements

  • Tax-free personal allowance rises from £11,500 to £11,850; threshold for 40% tax rises from £45,000 to £46,350. Rates and bands for Scottish taxpayers are still to be confirmed by the Scottish Parliament.
  • Employees will not be charged income tax on benefit of charging an electric car at work.
  • Employees with SAYE-related share option schemes will be able to take a 12-month break from saving, up from 6 months now, while on maternity or paternity leave.
  • Abolition of Class 2 National Insurance and reform of Class 4 NIC for self-employed deferred by a year to April 2019 in order to assess impact on contributory benefits.
  • Freezing of VAT registration threshold at £85,000 for two years instead of normal £2,000 increase.
  • ISA investment limit for 2018/19 unchanged at £20,000; Junior ISA limit rises in line with inflation to £4,260.
  • Lifetime Allowance for tax-advantaged pension funds rises from £1m to £1,030,000.
  • Increase in Enterprise Investment Scheme investment limit from £1m to £2m, provided any amount over £1m is invested in one or more knowledge-intensive companies.
  • Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount rises from £11,300 to £11,700.
  • Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings to rise by 3% in line with inflation.

From April 2018: confirmation of previous announcements

  • VAT-registered traders to operate ‘Making Tax Digital for VAT’ from April 2019.
  • Class 4 National Insurance Contributions increases proposed in March 2017 will not take effect.
  • Dividend Allowance, introduced at £5,000 for tax year 2016/17, reduced to £2,000 for 2018/19.

Other significant announcement

  • Allocation of £155m in extra resources to HMRC to fund action on the hidden economy, marketed tax avoidance schemes, enablers of tax fraud, non-compliance and collection of debts 9 months overdue.

GDP

  • The OBR now expects GDP to grow by 1.5% this year, 1.4% in 2018 and 1.3% in 2019 and 2020.
  • In addition, government borrowing is set to ‘fall in every year of the forecast’. Borrowing this year will be 2.4% of GDP.
  • Inflation is set to rise to 3% during the final quarter of 2017, and will ‘fall back towards target’ over the next year.

The Budget has been announced for getting debt down, by supporting British families and businesses, by investing in the technologies and the skills of the future and creating "Britain Fit for the Future."