On October 29th 2018, the chancellor, Philip Hammond presented his Budget to Parliament. The HM Treasury has revealed 24 things that you need to take away from the Budget. The future of the economy is looking brighter and the chancellor has reassured us that "austerity is over" - here's a summary of the decisions that were announced.
Public Finances are starting to take a turn for the better
The deficit has fallen by four-fifths since 2009-2010, from 9.9% to 1.9%. Public debt reached its highest in 2016-2017 but it has now started to fall. Public services will grow 1.2% above inflation in 2 years' time until 2023-24.
Employment levels at a near record high
There are over 3.3 million more people in work since 2010 and a forecasted 800,000 more jobs by 2022. Unemployment rates are the lowest they have been for over 40 years; the economy has grown every year since 2010 and it is predicted that this trend will continue.
The National Living Wage will increase
The National Living Wage is set to increase from £7.83 an hour to £8.21 from April 2019. This will benefit around 2.4 million workers, and is a £690 annual pay rise for full-time workers.
Tax-free Personal Allowances will increase
The amount you earn before you have to start paying income tax will increase to £12,500 in April 2019. This will be maintained in 2020 and the basic rate the taxpayer will pay is £1,205 less than 2010-2011.
The Higher Rate Threshold will increase
The amount taxpayers will have to earn before they have to pay tax at 40% will increase from £46,350 to £50,000 in April 2019. The result of this will be 1 million fewer higher rate tax payers compared to 2015-2016.
£1.7 billion to increase existing work allowances in Universal Credit
The increase will mean that working parents and people with disabilities claiming Universal Credit will be £630 better off each year. There will also be extra help as they move from their existing benefits to Universal Credit and there will be targeted support for those repaying debts.
Railcard for all young people aged between 26 and 30
A new railcard for all young people aged between 26 to 30 to be made available nationally by the end of the year.
Fuel duty will remain unchanged for a ninth year
In 2019, fuel duty will remain unchanged for the ninth year running which has saved the average driver £1000 since 2010.
Short-haul air passenger rates will not rise
Costs will be kept down for 80% of passengers as short-haul rates of Air Passenger Duty will not rise for the eighth year in a row.
Duty on beer, cider and spirits will remain unchanged
The average cost of a pint of beer will be 2p lower than if duty had risen by inflation.
Funding for the NHS will increase and there will be more spend on mental health
The government will increase its budget by £20.5 billion after inflation by 2023-24. The NHS will increase mental health spending by more than £2 billion a year by 2023-24.
£650 million is to be put into social care next year
Next year, local authorities in England will receive a further £650 million to fund social care.
The borrowing cap will be lifted to allow local authorities to build more housing
As of yesterday, the government has lifted the cap on the amount of money local authorities in England are able to borrow to build housing. The Welsh Government is expected to take immediate steps to lift the cap in Wales.
Schools will receive £400 million extra funding this year
The result of this will be £10,000 for the average primary school and £50,000 for the average secondary school.
The Royal Mint will create a new commemorative Brexit 50p coin
To mark the UK's exit from the European Union.
£19 million in commemoration of the centenary of the WWI Armistice
Up to £8 million to help with the cost of repairs to village halls, Miner's welfare facilities and Armed Forces organisations' facilities. £10 million will be allocated to support veterans with mental health needs through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.
£30 billion will be allocated to improve roads
Local authorities will receive £420 million to fix potholes, renew bridges and tunnels, and there will be a £150 million to improve traffic hotspots.
£25.3 billion will be invested into the Strategic Road Network which consists of motorways, trunk and A roads.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will receive higher amounts of funding
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will all get more money to spend in devolved areas such as education, health and housing.
£1.5 billion will be used to support the high street and small retailers
Small retail businesses will see their business rate bills cut by a third for 2 years from April 2019, which in turn will save them £900 million. Local high streets will receive £675 million to improve transport links, re-develop empty shops as homes and offices and restore or re-use old and historic properties. This is on top of previous reductions in business rates since the 2016 Budget and it will save firms over £12 billion over the next five years.
£1 billion will be invested into defence over the next two years
The Ministry of Defence will receive an extra £1 billion to help protect the UK against the changing threats such as rise in cyber-attacks and the resurgence of state-based threats. This is on top of the £800 million which was announced earlier this year.
£4 billion in increased funding to help departments to prepare for Brexit
The government is providing £500 million of extra funding so that departments can prepare for Brexit. This is on top of the £1.5 billion that was already announced.
The Annual Investment Allowance will increase to £1 million from 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2020
The Annual Investment Allowance will increase from £200,000 to £1 million to help businesses invest and grow. From October 2018, businesses will be able to deduct 2% of the cost of any new non residential structures and buildings off their profit before they pay Tax.
There will be a 2% digital services tax on large digital firms
From April 2020, large digital firms will pay a 2% tax on the revenues they earn which are targeted to UK users.
The apprenticeship Levy will be changed to support employers
From April, large businesses will be able to invest up to 25% of their apprenticeship levy to support apprentices in their supply chain. This will mean that some employers will be paying half of what they currently pay for apprenticeship training. The costs will go from 10% to 5% and the government will pay the remaining 95%.