Many eyes were glued to Twitter streams and live feeds for the 2016 Autumn Statement earlier this week.
The much-awaited unveiling gave us the most surprising announcement that the Government will be moving to only one budget a year! This is good news as it will give taxpayers more time to prepare for changes ahead of the new tax year.
Here are the winners and losers according to Bradleys Practice Manager, Alan McCappin.
Some working families
More than three million UK families currently receiving universal credit will be able to keep more of it when they enter work. That’s because the ‘taper rate’ will be cut from 65% to 63%.
The Government confirmed it will invest a generous £1.4billion in 40,000 affordable homes. This is a great way to tackle the problems of housing in Britain.
The government would begin to roll out tax-free childcare across Britain in early 2017. Philip Hammond said this would represent a saving of up to £2,000 per child.
Workers on minimum wage
The National Living Wage is to rise to £7.50 an hour from April 2017. The minimum wage will rise 4% from £7.20 to £7.50 an hour, in new plans set to go live on 1 April next year - that will leave earners up to £500 better off.
- The tax-free allowance, the amount you earn before any of it is taxed, will rise to £11,500 next year - meaning you keep more of your money.
- The Chancellor committed to raise the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 and the threshold for higher-rate tax to £50,000 by the end of the current Parliament.
With the ban on letting agent fees, renters were given a small cheer. From now on the landlord will stump up for fees that are incurred instead.
- There will be an increase in funding for home building. A new £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will deliver infrastructure for up to 100,000 new homes in high demand areas. Plus, a sum of £7.2bn will support the construction of new homes.
- The Help to Buy "equity loan" scheme and the help to buy ISA are to remain in force.
By ceasing all future Autumn Statements, Mr Hammond has effectively reduced his workload by half!
The government stepped up its battle to tackle tax avoidance when it said it will strengthen sanctions and deterrents for both corporates and individuals, and will take further action on disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes.
Households and motorists
With Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) going up 2%, the average UK household expenses are set to rise. According to research, the move doubles the tax rate on home and motor insurance premiums within the past two years. It will end up adding an estimated £51 to average household bill from June 2017. On the positive side, fuel duty will be frozen for the seventh year. There'll be no immediate rise in petrol and diesel prices.
Landlords and letting agents
It’s not great news for landlords. A ban on letting fees charged to tenants was announced. Instead, landlords will have to pay the price now.
Employees who use perks
Those who get a perk like a company car, gym membership, computer or phone tax free are the losers. Tax breaks such as these will be stripped from everything except childcare, pensions, cycle-to-work schemes and ultra-low emission vehicles.
Pension cold callers
Bad news for ‘pension reviews’ cold callers. Soon they will be fined up to £500,000 for dialling your number.
Employers of ‘low-paid workforce’
Good news for workers can be bad news for employers. The rise in the National Living Wage to £7.50 an hour from April 2017, means one million workers will receive a pay rise.
Autumn Statement Fan Club
The Chancellor announced this will be the last Autumn Statement. The main Spring budget will move to next Autumn.