WHAT WAS IN THE AUTUMN BUDGET?
The Chancellor’s Autumn Budget delivered focused very much on boosting the UK’s productivity and building greater self-sufficiency given the UK’s impending exit from the EU. Some of the changes announced are as follows:
From April 2018, the personal tax free allowance will rise from £11,500 to £11,850 and the basic rate threshold (where the tax rate changes from 20% to 40%) will rise from £45,000 to £46,350. From April 2018, the National Living Wage will rise from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour.
Great news for first-time buyers; with immediate effect there is no stamp duty on the first £300,000 of the purchase price (subject to a maximum price of £500,000). For landlords, yet another blow with the Chancellor announcing new powers to local authorities to charge a 100% council tax premium on empty properties! He will also launch a consultation on the barriers to longer tenancies in the private rented sector and hinted at seeking ways to encourage landlords to offer these.
For those involved in property development and construction, the Government has said it is committing £44 billion to support the housing market with loans and guarantees to boost construction skills and ‘unlock’ sites.
From January 2018, corporate indexation of capital gains will be frozen bringing corporate and personal capital gains in line, creating a more level playing field.
The planned switch from the retail prices index (RPI) to the consumer prices index (CPI) in terms of calculating business rates relief will be brought forward 2 years to April 2018 which is estimated to save businesses £2.3 billion over the next five years.
The proposed fuel duty rise scheduled for April 2018 has been cancelled which is good news but not so for company cars using diesel which will incur a 1% increase in company car tax from April (white van men and women don’t worry - you’re excluded!)
From April 2018, the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rate for diesel cars will go up by one band. In contrast, it would appear further incentives are on the way for electric cars including no benefits-in-kind for those charging up their electric cars at work!
…and finally, the Chancellor promised to keep the VAT threshold at £85,000 for the next two years which, in my opinion, is too low as it simply increases the accounting and compliance costs to small businesses which are the backbone of our economy!
Jon Hook, the legal expert from Norwich Accountancy Services