Philip Hammond has delivered his second Budget as Chancellor. The key points of his speech include help for first-time buyers.
The biggest announcement of the Budget 2017: first-time home buyers will no longer have to pay stamp duty on property purchases up to £300,000.
The Chancellor announced he is abolishing the charge with immediate effect.
This should be welcome news for Colchester residents where it is proposed 30,000 homes will be built over the next 20 years.
Changes to the Universal Income welfare scheme were also announced after strong criticism that low income families were suffering.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the Budget 2017, claimants wait times for the initial payment for Universal Credit will be cut from six weeks to five.
He also made an announcement it will become easier for claimants to apply for an advance.
The removal of the seven-day waiting period for Universal Credit would mean payments would start on the day of the claim and households can access a full month’s payment within five days of applying.
Housing benefit will also continue to be paid for up to two weeks whilst any new claim for Universal Credit is being processed.
Other key points of this years Budget
- Long-term goal to build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.
- £44bn in government support, including loan guarantees, to boost construction skills.
- 100% council tax premium on empty properties.
- Compulsory purchase of land banked by developers for financial reasons.
- New homelessness task force.
- £40m teacher training fund for under-performing schools in England.
- 8000 new computer science teachers to be recruited at cost of £84m.
- Secondary schools and sixth-form colleges to get £600 for each new pupil taking maths or further maths at A level.
NHS / Social Care
- £2.8bn in extra funding for the NHS in England.
- £350m to be made available immediately, £1.6bn for 2018-19 and the remainder in 2019-20.
- £10bn capital investment fund for hospitals.
Tobacco / Alcohol & Fuel
- Tobacco will rise by 2% above Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation while the minimum excise duty on cigarettes, introduced in March will also rise, as will duty on hand-rolled tobacco.
- Duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders will be frozen.
- Vehicle excise duty for diesel cars that do not meet latest standards to rise by one band in April 2018.
- Fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars scheduled for April 2018 scrapped.
- Tax-free personal allowance to rise to £11,850 in April 2018.
- Higher-rate tax threshold to increase to £46,350.
- Short-haul air passenger duty rates and long-haul economy rates to be frozen.
- Increase in the national living wage from £7.50 per hour to £7.83.
- £3bn will be set aside over the next two years to prepare the UK for every possible outcome as we prepare to leave the EU.
- £500m investment for 5G mobile networks, fibre broadband and artificial intelligence.
- £540m to support the growth of electric cars, including more charging points.
- A further £2.3bn allocated for investment in research and development.
- Rises in business rates to be pegged to CPI measure of inflation, not RPI.