Now we've heard plenty about what was expected from today, from a concerted focus on housing, to a regulatory revamp for driverless cars and a slew of tech spending. But what was actually in it?
Here's a roundup of all the news announced by Hammond today:
Economics, public spending and politics
- The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has revised down the outlook for productivity growth, business investment and GDP growth across the forecast period.
- The British economy will grow by 1.4 per cent in 2018, much lower than previous forecasts of a 1.6 per cent expansion, according to OBR forecasts.
- The economy's expansion in 2019 will only be 1.3 per cent, down from previous expectations of 1.7 per cent. The downgrade in 2020 was even larger, from 1.9 per cent to 1.3 per cent, before picking back up to 1.5 per cent and then 1.6 per cent in 2022.
- There will though be 600,000 more jobs by the end of the forecast period.
- Inflation peaks at three per cent this quarter before falling back towards target over the next year, with Hammond reaffirming the remit for the independent Monetary Policy Committee and its two per cent CPI inflation target.
- Debt will peak this year then gradually fall as a share of GDP, according to the OBR.
- Borrowing will fall in every year of the forecast, from £39.5bn next year to £25.6bn in 2022-23, to reach its lowest level in 20 years.
- The OBR forecasts the structural deficit to be 1.3 per cent of GDP in 2020-21, giving £14.8bn against the government's two per cent target, Hammond said.
- National Productivity Investment Fund will be extended for a further year and expanded to over £31bn.
- The government will investigate how the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items can reduce waste.
- For all first-time buyer purchases up to £300,000, stamp duty will be abolished altogether. It will also be available on the first £300,000 of the purchase price of properties up to £500,000 to help buyers in high price areas like London.
- This will mean 95 per cent of all first-time buyers will benefit, with 80 per cent not paying stamp duty.
- Increasing Targeted Affordability funding by £125m over the next two years, affecting 140,000 people.
- Over next five years, £44bn of capital funding, loans and guarantees will be provided to support the housing market.
- 100 per cent council tax premium to be levied on empty properties and compulsory purchase of land banked by developers for financial reasons.
- There will be £8bn of new financial guarantees to support private housebuilding, along with £34m to develop construction skills across the UK.
- Commitment to building up to 1m homes by 2050 along the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor.
- Kensington and Chelsea council will receive £28m for counselling services and mental health support for victims of the Grenfell tower fire, and for regeneration of the surrounding area
- A new homelessness task force will be established
Personal taxation, pensions and savings
- From April, the personal allowance will be increased to £11,850 and the higher rate threshold to £46,350.
- National Living Wage to rise in April next year by 4.4 per cent to £7.83.
- Short-haul air passenger duty rates and long-haul economy rates to be frozen, paid for by a rise on premium class tickets and on private jets
- A £1.5bn package to address concerns around Universal Credit. Removing the seven day waiting period applied at the beginning of a benefit claim so that entitlement to Universal Credit will start on the day of the claim.
- The government also plans to change the advances system to ensure that any household that needs it can access a full month’s payment within five days of applying. The repayment period will also be extended for advances from six months to 12 months.
- The government will legislate to allow VAT refunds from April 2018.
- Indexation allowance for capital gains to be frozen so that firms receive relief for inflation up to January 2018, but not after.
- From April 2019, and in accordance with international obligations, the government will apply income tax to royalties relating to UK sales, when those royalties are paid to a low tax jurisdiction. It said this will raise about £200m.
- The government will pilot 100 per cent business rates retention in London next year.
- The planned switch from RPI to CPI will be brought forward by two years, to April 2018, after concerns about potential costs of the annual uprating business rates in April.
- The tobacco duty escalator will continue at inflation plus two per cent, with an additional one per cent duty on hand rolling tobacco this year.
- Minimum excise duty on cigarettes will also rise.
- Will legislate to increase duty on high strength, cheap, low quality products - "white ciders" - from 2019. Duties on other ciders, wines, spirits and on beer will be frozen.
- Extending the £1,000 discount for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 for one more year to March 2019.
- The government will keep under review flexibility that levy payers have to spend the money from the apprenticeship levy, which Hammond said will deliver 3m apprenticeship starts by 2020.
- T-levels are being introduced, and a further £20m introduced to support FE colleges in preparing for them.
- Expanding the teaching for mastery of maths programme to a further 3,000 schools, and £40m to train maths teachers across the country.
- The number of trained computer science teachers will be tripled to 12,000, while the establishment of a national centre for computing too.
- The launch of a partnership between the CBI, TUC and government to set the "strategic direction" for a national retraining scheme, with a focus on boosting digital skills and expanding the construction sector. Some £30m will be plugged into the development of digital skills distance learning courses.
Science, technology and innovation
- A further £2.3bn announced for investment in R&D, and the main R&D tax credit will be raised to 12 per cent, amid efforts to drive up R&D investment across the economy to 2.4 per cent of GDP.
- Over £500m invested in a range of initiatives from AI, to 5G and full fibre broadband.
- A new Regulators' Pioneer Fund, as well as a new Geospatial Data Commission to develop a strategy for using the government's location data to support economic growth.
- An action plan is published today to unlock over £20bn of new investment in UK scale-up businesses, including through a new fund in the British Business Bank, seeded with £2.5bn of public money.
- EIS investment limits for knowledge intensive companies will also be doubled, "while ensuring that EIS is not used as a shelter for low-risk capital preservation schemes".
- The government stands ready to step in to replace European Investment Fund lending if needed.
Transport and infrastructure
- A £400m charging infrastructure fund has been set up, with a commitment to investing an extra £100m in the plug-in-car grant, and £40m in charging R&D.
- The law will be clarified so that people who charge their electric vehicles at work will not face a benefit-in-kind charge from next year.
Diesel drivers face higher taxes, as from April 2018 the first year VED rate for diesel cars that don’t meet the latest standards will go up by one band.
The existing diesel supplement in company car tax will rise by one per cent.
The levy will fund a new £220m clean air fund to support the implementation of local air quality plans.
A new £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund, with half to be shared by the six areas with elected metro mayors, and the rest open to competition.
- Some £300m invested to ensure HS2 infrastructure can accommodate future Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine rail improvements.
- Making over £1 billion of discounted lending available to local authorities across the country to support high-value infrastructure projects.
- A new railcard for those aged 26-30, which the chancellor said will give 4.5m young people a third off their rail fares.
- Upcoming fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cancelled.
Health and social care
- An additional £10bn package of capital investment for the NHS over the course of this parliament.
- The government will also make an additional commitment of resource funding of £2.8bn to the NHS in England, with £350m immediately to allow trusts to plan for the winter.
- Discussions are underway with health unions on pay structure updating to improve recruitment and retention of nurses.
Oil and gas
- The government will introduce ‘Transferable Tax History’ for transfers of oil and gas fields in the North Sea, to encourage new entrants to bring fresh investment to a basin that still holds up to 20bn barrels of oil.
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