Yesterday, Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Budget to the House of Commons, promising an end to austerity and “an economy working not for the few, not even for the many, an economy working for everyone”.
Brexit, of course was the elephant in the room, and Mr Hammond indicated that in the event of a “no deal” break from the EU, the 2019 Spring Statement would be upgraded to a full fiscal event – another Budget with a different plan.
Budget Key Points
Here are some of the key points of note from Budget 2018:
Personal Allowance – The government’s manifesto pledge to raise the Personal Allowance to £12,500 and higher rate threshold to £50,000 will take effect a year earlier than promised, in April 2019/20
Private sector IR35 – Reforms to IR35 rules for off-payroll working will be extended to the private sector from April 2020, and there will be further consultation on the detail
Digital tech tax – A new Digital Technology Tax will be levied on tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook and will extend to all profitable companies with global sales of more than £500m
Business rates – The Chancellor committed to reducing business rates by a third over two years for companies with a rateable value of £51,000 or less
Stamp duty and housing – First time buyers’ relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax will be extended to shared ownership schemes. The government have also pledged £500m for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, to build 650,000 new homes.
Entrepreneur’s Relief – After speculation that it would be abolished, Entrepreneur’s Relief will be retained. However, there will be measures to prevent the “misuse” of the relief, including extending the minimum qualifying period to two years and changing the definition of a “personal company”.
Universal Credit – work allowances for Universal Credit will be increased by £1.7bn, which is predicted to benefit 2.4 m working families with children by £630 a year.