Chancellor Philip Hammond has just announced the final Spring Budget, and in it we saw investment in education (some controversial), money allocated towards the crisis in social care, increased NI on the self-employed and much more.
What you said
On Monday 6th March we asked our Twitter users to decide which of our choices they thought were the most important factors in the Budget – almost half our 4,265 respondents (47%) said social care, NHS and benefits were, with 25% saying national living wage and 22% income tax rates.
Among the most popular topics mentioned in ‘other’ were the state pension, defence and clamping down on tax havens, while by and large people accepted that tax rises would be needed as long as they could be ring-fenced for NHS and social care. Anyway, here’s a summary of what he said….
- The national living wage will rise to £7.50 per hour in April.
- Personal allowance (how much you can earn in a year before being taxed) will rise to £11,500 – the seventh consecutive annual rise, with a rise to £12,500 the target by 2020.
- Higher tax rate threshold will rise too from £43,000 to £45,000 (except in Scotland), with the aim being to reach £50,000 by 2020.
- However, there is more tax on the self-employed – an extra £145m to be raised by 2021-22
- National Insurance rises for the self-employed: class 4 NICs will increase to 10% in 2018, with a further 1% increase in 2019. Some experts say this goes contrary to the Government’s 2015 manifesto.
- The number of free schools in England is set to rise, with £320m being set aside to set up 140 new free schools, to add the 500 already pencilled in to be created by 2020. It could include the controversial revival of grammar schools, should the government’s plans gets passed through parliament. There is additionally £216m promised to help refurbish and improve existing schools, at a time when head teachers are repeatedly warning of a funding crisis in the state school system.
- £500m a year is allocated to vocational and technical skills training for 16-19 year-olds, with the ultimate aim being a boost to the UK’s productivity levels in the future.
- A cut of £435m to business rates to protect smaller businesses from the impact of any upcoming revaluations to the way rates are calculated – these include £300m allocated to councils to use business rate relief in a way they see fit, and a £1000 discount that will apply to 90% of pubs.
- Shareholders and sole traders will see tax-free dividend allowance reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.
- There’s an extra £2bn for social care over next three years, with the first £1bn available in 2017-18 – though many experts suggest it’s not enough to close the funding gap
- £325m will be available for NHS sustainability and transformation plans.
- On International Women’s Day the chancellor announced a £5m fund is to be set up to mark the centenary of female suffrage and the Representation of the People Act 1918 – when women were finally allowed to vote in the UK. Money will be allocated to extend return to work schemes to wider levels of employment, and there’s also an extra £20m to go to organisations tackling domestic abuse.
- No changes to previously planned tobacco and alcohol ‘escalator’ price rises, but a new ‘minimum duty’ means effectively a pack of cigarettes should cost at least £8.82, with beer, wine and whisky set for small minimum price rises too.
The chancellor ended his speech by saying “the government wants to build a stronger, fairer Britain.”
The Experian Credit Score is free, forever. Checking your Experian Credit Score before you apply for new credit can give you a good indication of how lenders may view you based on information in your Experian Credit Report.