The Chancellor has announced his 2018 Spring Statement.
Philip Hammond delivered his first Spring Budget which contained no major announcements or tax changes. He reiterated the government’s desire for a balanced approach to debt and spending and presented a positive view of the economy with inflation and borrowing expected to fall. He provided some updates on the changes introduced in the last budget and identified some areas of the tax system that will be reviewed.
Highlights of the statement are set out below:
- The National Living Wage will increase to £7.83 from 1 April 2018 as promised in the Autumn Budget.
- The personal allowance will rise to £11,850 from April 2018 as promised in the Autumn Budget.
- He stated that the stamp duty relief for first time buyers, introduced in the Autumn Budget, has been successful in benefitting 60,000 people.
Changes being Considered
- A consultation will be carried out to look at reducing Vehicle Excise Duty rates for new low-emissions vans.
- A VAT consultation will be launched to review the design of the VAT threshold with a view to incentivising growth.
- The government continues to look at plans to collect additional tax from big technology companies operating in the UK and is issuing a publication exploring potential solutions.
- The government is also consulting on the role of cash in an increasingly digital economy, how it can support the use of digital payments, ensure that those who need to use cash can still do so, and prevent the use of cash in tax evasion and money laundering.
- The government is committed to using the tax system to change the use of disposable plastics and reduce plastic waste and is inviting views on how to do this.
- The government is seeking views on extending the current tax relief to support self-employed people and employees when they fund their own training.
- £80m of funding will be made available to small businesses to support them in taking on apprentices.
- The Belfast City Deal mentioned in the Autumn budget was again mentioned but no further details were given.
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