SPRING BUDGET 2017
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.
- 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 billion 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
- ‘Making Tax Digital’ reforms require self-employed 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 2018 (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 than £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.
- 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.