So, we have now enjoyed our first autumn budget. The move to an autumn budget is a welcome one across industry as it gives businesses and individuals time to adjust and digest before changes take effect. Being cynical it also leaves plenty of time for U-turns…
We say we enjoyed the autumn budget because, as light entertainment TV goes, it was quite enjoyable – akin to having Brucey back on our screens with his puns and jokes. But waking up the morning after, we may all reflect on Philip Hammond’s second budget as being, well, a bit boring and light on content.
The light-hearted nature of the delivery did help to hide the grim facts that underpinned the budget statement, that being slower growth and a slump in productivity, both expected to last into the mid-twenty-twenties. The Chancellor talked a lot about investing in measures to boost productivity, but the OBR forecasts do not reflect this or simply do not expect it to have the desired impact – downgrading their projections to some of the lowest levels in over 30 years.
The chancellor was also starting to prepare the nation for a Brexit wobble, setting aside £3bn for Brexit impact softening measures and limiting other major announcements. It makes us wonder if the real pain is being held back until after “Brexit” is complete? Many suspect that we’ll have a General Election shortly after the split is finalised, at which point the new Government can have a Budget that deals with the problems the country faces knowing full well they’ve then got five years in power for the public to forget what they did in year 1!
Of course, the televised hour of the budget statement is saved for the highlights and headlines and the actual budget document is where the full detail will be found, and this will appear over the coming days and weeks as the experts dig through it line-by-line. It’s not unheard of that budget statements with very little announced on the day typically go on to throw up some issues/surprises down the line as people work out the real changes.
Key points for Evans Weir clients:
- Online marketplaces (ebay, Amazon etc.) will become jointly responsible for VAT of its traders to ensure the correct VAT is being paid for online sales
- There will be £500m investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G and Fibre technology/communications
- Business rates will be linked to CPI instead of RPI from April 2018, 2 years earlier than planned
- Business rates discount extension for pubs – the current £1,000 discount for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will be extended for another year, to March 2019
- Future business rate revaluations will take place every 3 yrs, not 5yrs as currently
- Personal allowances – the amount you can earn before becoming liable for income tax -rises to £11,850 for basic rate payers and £46,350 for higher rate tax payers from April 2018
- The living wage will increase from £7.50 to £7.83
- No stamp duty for 1st time buyers on purchases up to £300,000 or the first £300,000 on purchases up to £500,000 in high price localities
As ever, if you have any questions about your own personal circumstances and how the budget announcements may impact you, please do not hesitate to contact us.