The budget – what does it mean for you?

Posted by: Katy Piper | Post date: 11.12.17

Last month the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, popped out with his little red box and delivered the autumn budget, but what does this mean for you?  Everyone is affected either directly or indirectly as it encompasses areas like housing, which we’re particularly interested in, and of course, wages, transport, business and the environment amongst others.  Here is a summary of the highlights – starting with housing!

Housing

Stamp duty is getting the heave-ho for first time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000.  Other buyers will pay £5000 less on purchases between £300-£500,000. This means 80% of first time buyers will pay no stamp duty at all. Statistics show that the average first time buyer in the south is now 32 years old but, hopefully, this cost saving may well drive down this age – every little helps!

What will help even more is extra housing being built for these younger folk to use their cost saving on.  Over the next five years, the government has promised a £44bn capital investment to boost the housing market. They intend to slowly ramp up home building until, by the mid 2020s, there should be 300,000 new homes being built every year which is the highest level since the 1970s.  Let’s hope the cream and brown wallpaper doesn’t make a comeback too.

Wages

There’s good news on the wages front too as the national living wage is set to rise by 4.4pc to £7.83 an hour from next April from £7.50 currently.  Not only that, the income tax threshold is being nudged up a wee bit from £11,501 to £11,850 in April next year.

Transport

It’s a good news/bad news, when it comes to transport.  For the lovers of going green, there will be extra funds and tax incentives for electric car drivers but diesel cars that don’t meet air quality standards will be hit by additional road tax.  White van men, or either sex drivers of any colour van actually, will be exempt.

Young rail travellers, aged between 26 and 30, will be able to apply for a new national railcard from Spring 2018 which will entitle them to a third off rail fares.  Unfortunately, shortly after the budget was announced, a 3.4% hike in rail fares from 2018 was announced which will be the highest price rise in five years.

Business

Thankfully, the Chancellor has recognised that ‘small businesses’ are under a lot of pressure at the moment so has not reduced the VAT threshold from £85,000.  He’s also brought forward the uprating of business rates based on the CPI inflation index, not RPI for 2 years which will save businesses around £2.3bn.

To make business communications easier, the Chancellor has pledged £385m to extend the use of 5G and full fibre broadband. Clearly, this will benefit everyone whether they’re in business or not.

The Environment

Thanks to the success of the 5p plastic carrier bag tax, the government has decided to investigate how the tax system and charges on single use plastic items could reduce waste. This could mean tax on single use plastic items like plastic takeaway boxes and coffee cups.  Most people could probably cope with carrying around their own coffee cup but going up to the local takeaway bowl in hand would probably make most people feel like Oliver Twist.

If you’d like to take advantage of these changes to buy your first property or if you’d like to discuss how any of these changes might affect your situation as a tenant, landlord or homeowner, please feel free to give us a call on 01273 917791.