AT A GLANCE: All the big announcements in Budget 2018

Posted On: 
29th October 2018

Here are the new measures Philip Hammond just announced in his Autumn Budget. 

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Autumn Budget in the Commons today
Credit: 
BBC

The headline economic numbers

The deficit (the gap between what the Government spends and what it takes in) has been revised down this year from its earlier forecast of 1.8% to 1.2%. It will inch upwards to 1.4% in 2019-20, then fall to 1.3% in 2020-21 and down to 0.8% by 2023-24.

Growth has been revised upwards in two of the next five years. In 2019 it is now projected to be 1.6%, rather than the 1.3% forecast in the spring. For 2020 it's 1.4%, up from 1.3%; for 2021 it's 1.4% (unchanged from the spring prediction); for 2022 it's 1.5% (also unchanged); and 2023 gets a new projection of 1.6%.

 

Austerity

The Chancellor has been under pressure to repeat Mrs May’s declaration that austerity is “over” and he delivered to an extent, telling MPs: “The era of austerity is finally coming to an end”.

 

Health

The Chancellor confirmed a major cash injection for the NHS of an extra £20bn a year by 2023. Some of that money will go towards improving mental health services, which will fund mental health ambulances, crisis teams in schools, safe havens in the community, a 24-hour crisis hotline and other new initiatives.

There will also be an extra £10m for veterans with mental health needs to mark the 100-year anniversary of World War One.

 

Welfare

After weeks of pressure from the Tory benches, the Chancellor pledged £1bn over five years in extra funding to smooth the implementation of the Government’s flagship welfare policy Universal Credit.

He also upped the scheme's work allowance element by £1,000, in a move he said would cost the Treasury £1.7bn a year "once roll-out is complete" and allow claimants to keep more of their money when they move into work.

 

Tax

Hammond announced a new UK Digital Services Tax on big tech firms like Amazon, Google and Facebook. It will come into effect in April 2020 and is expected to make £400m a year.

The Chancellor pressed ahead with Tory manifesto plans to raise the personal tax allowance to £12,500. He also confirmed that the higher rate tax threshold would be increased to £50,000. The changes will come in next year – one year earlier than planned.

Fuel duty remains frozen for the ninth year in a row, as does duty on beer, cider and spirits.

The tobacco duty escalator will continue to rise at inflation + 2%.  

 

Local government

Struggling councils will get £650m for social care, £45m for disability facilities and £84m over the next five years for children’s services.  

 

Retail

For the next two years, retailers in England with a rateable value of £51k or less will have their business rates bill cut by a third. The Chancellor said that would save 90% of businesses up to £8,000 a year.

There will also be business rates relief for public toilets.

A new £675m ‘future high streets fund’ will give councils cash to support high streets.   

 

Education

Also as part of the WW1 centenary, there will be a £1.7m fund for education about the holocaust.

For schools, there will be a £400m bonus payment this year for the “little extras” (whatever they are).  

 

Work

Hammond said the 'National Living Wage' will hit £8.21 in April 2019.

He also announced a package of measures to stimulate business investment, including increasing the investment allowance to £1m for two years, permanent tax relief for non-residential structures and buildings, extending international access to passport e-gates and a new enterprise allowance to help benefit claimants get business ideas going will be extended.

Hammond announced that while current PFI contracts would be honoured, the Government will abolish the use of them in the future.

 

Infrastructure

Hammond pledged £420m to help plug potholes and mend bridges.

On housing, he said stamp duty relief would be extended to those buying shared ownership properties. And there will be an extra £500m for the housing infrastructure fund.

 

Defence

The Ministry of Defence will get £1bn of fresh cash to support the armed forces this year and next year.

 

Policing

A new £160m was unveiled for counter-terror policing.

 

Environment

The Chancellor pledged £10m for abandoned waste sites and a new tax on packaging that is less than 30% recyclable.

 

Devolution

Hammond announced £2m for Belfast city centre after the devastating Primark fire.

He also said the 'transforming cities fund' will get extra money, as will a range of other schemes like 'catapult zones'.

 

Brexit planning

The £1.5bn earmarked for Whitehall's Brexit planning in 2019-20 will be raised to £2bn.