On Monday the Chancellor presented the main fiscal event of the year and the final budget before the UK is due to leave the European Union. Whatever your views are on what was announced, the Budget will have an impact on almost everyone. Below is a brief summary of some of the measures outlined yesterday:
It was announced that the tax free personal allowance will rise to £12,500 for basic rate taxpayers, one year earlier than planned. This will then be frozen next year and from 2020 will be linked to inflation. The higher rate tax threshold will increase to £50,000, taking almost one million people out of the higher rate tax band from April 2019.
The national living wage will be increased from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour with other minimum wage rates also increasing in line with the recommendations from the Low Pay Commission.
Beer, cider, spirits and fuel duty have been frozen for the financial year.
Housebuilding and first time buyers
Initially announced last month, it was confirmed that the cap on how much local councils can borrow against their housing stock would be lifted. This could lead to more council houses being built.
Yesterday the Chancellor abolished stamp duty for first time buyers of shared ownership properties up to £500,000, and will be backdated for anyone who has made a purchase since the last budget in November 2017 – meaning that some people may now be due a refund from the government.
A further £500m has been promised for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, enabling local councils to apply for cash to help them build more homes. Additionally, the Help to Buy scheme will be extended for a further two years up to April 2023.
Borrowers and homeowners
The amount of ‘breathing space’ given to borrowers experiencing repayment difficulties and facing legal action has been extended from six weeks to sixty days.
The government also announced lettings relief for properties where the owner of that property is living with the tenant.
What else came up?
The amount of money available for the roll-out of the government’s flagship benefits reform, Universal Credit, has been increased by £1bn to help claimants transfer onto the new benefit without losing money.
A new digital services tax on large digital corporations will come into effect from April 2020, raising an expected £400m.
A £30bn package for roads and transport in England was announced, with more than £500m dedicated specifically to repairing potholes.
For a full rundown of measures introduced in the Autumn Budget, visit the government website.