Autumn Budget: Chancellor ‘Phils’ the housing gap
PUBLISHED: 16:30 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:34 22 November 2017
The Gloucestershire-based firm of business advisers and chartered accountants Hazlewoods, give their detailed analysis of the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget
In the Chancellor’s first Autumn Budget, the gloomy downgrading of the UK’s growth forecasts was offset, during his speech, by some positive announcements about increased spending for education, housing, the NHS and to improve productivity. However, with a distinct lack of tax raising measures, you have to question where the money is going to come from.
On top of the £3.5 billion previously scheduled increase in funding for the NHS, Mr Hammond announced an additional, exceptional £2.8 billion with £350 million available immediately to help improve A&E waiting times.
In an attempt to assist the next generation with the new digital economy, investment is to be made into education or, more specifically, into maths. Schools and colleges, who support their students to study Maths, will be rewarded by giving them £600 for every extra pupil who decides to take Maths or Further Maths A Levels, or Core Maths.
It was widely predicted that housing would be at the heart of this Budget and the Chancellor didn’t disappoint, with wide ranging plans aimed at achieving 300,000 new homes per year, but only by the mid 2020s.
One of his major tax announcements also related to the housing market, where first time buyers of houses worth up to £300,000 will be exempt from Stamp Duty Land Tax. Those acquiring higher valued properties of up to £500,000 will receive a nil rate band on the first £300,000, the aim being to assist 95% of first time buyers and help turn their dreams of home ownership into a reality.
The Chancellor announced that there is to be an increase in the tax free personal allowance in 2018/19 to £11,850 and for the higher rate band to £46,350.
Companies took a hit with the announcement that ‘indexation allowance’ will be frozen from 1 January 2018, meaning companies will no longer benefit from relief for inflationary rises when selling chargeable assets, which individuals lost back in 2008.
There was relief that the VAT threshold was not reduced, as had been talked about in advance of the Budget, although the registration threshold of £85,000 is to be frozen for the next two years.
It is perhaps of no surprise that there were no controversial measures announced from the Chancellor of a minority Government. The last thing they need at the moment is a Finance Bill that is not passed by the House.
It remains to be seen as to whether the measures announced appeal to the youth that appear to have deserted the Conservatives in droves. Regardless, the Government appears to be committed to giving them every opportunity of watching the next election from their own home.