The Autumn Budget was the Chancellor’s opportunity to set out the Government’s view of the state of the economy and to set the targets and goals for the near- and medium-term future. Presented at the end of November last year, many of the changes come into effect from April this year – although some were immediate – and there are winners and losers in all camps. This month we have set out a quick re-cap to help you plan your year and your budget, and let you figure out what you can do with any spare cash you may have left over.
The Budget at a glance
- Stamp duty will be abolished for first-time buyers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland on properties up to £300,000; for those buying a property in the £300,000-£500,000 bracket no stamp duty will apply on the first £300,000. This means that around 80% of new first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty. For properties above £500,000 no changes are proposed
- Young commuters will see the young persons’ railcard discounts extended to apply to those up to the age of 31 (currently it is 27). This can offer up to a 30% discount on all rail travel depending on the rail company
- House builders can continue to invest in new properties with the announcement of £44 billion from the government to deliver 300,000 new homes per year. The Chancellor also announced that a review will take place to determine how to move from planning consent to house building more quickly
- Tax-free allowance will rise to £11,850 and the higher-rate income tax threshold will go up to £46,350
- National Living Wage will increase to £7.83, a rise of 4.4%
- VAT thresholds for small businesses will remain at £85,000 for the next two years
- Business rates will rise in line with the CPI inflation measure as opposed to the higher RPI
- Capital gains tax relief for overseas buyers will be phased out for commercial properties
- National insurance was proposed to see the abolition of Class 2 NCIs, however, this has been delayed in order for a review to take place. The planned increase for Class 4 NICs will now not go ahead
- State pensions will be increased by 3% and there will be no changes to the annual allowance, tapered annual allowance, or money purchase annual allowance
- Enterprise Investment Schemes investment limits have been doubled for Knowledge Intensive Companies bringing the maximum annual tax exemption to £2 million
- Whisky drinkers can raise a glass to the scrappage of a 3.9% tax increase. Duty rates are also frozen for beer, cider, wine, and sprits; the only exception is white cider which will see a rise in alcohol duty.
- Fuel duty rises for petrol and diesel cars planned for 2018 have also been scrapped. The proceeds from an increase in vehicle excise duty will go some way towards a new £220 million clean air fund
Full details of the budget can be found on the Government’s website and our specialists at Bells Inc. Hamilton Stewart are on hand to answer any questions, advise on financial and business planning, and to help with business budgeting – just get in touch on 020 8763 1711 or by email at