Budget: At a glance

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Brexit
Hammond said the Government was at a “pivotal moment” in EU negotiations, saying that they were “confident but not complacent” that a Brexit deal with dividends will be secured.
However, Hammond added that the government continues to plan for “all eventualities”.
£2.2bn in funding has been set aside for Government departments for Brexit preparations, a further £1.5bn was allocated in the last Autumn Budget for 2019/20.

State of economy
In a Budget Hammond said “paves the way for a brighter future”, he proclaimed that the “era of austerity is finally coming to an end.”
Growth forecast to improve next year from the 1.3% forecast at the Spring Statement to 1.6%.
Then: 1.4% in 2020 and 2021; 1.5% in 2022; and 1.6% in 2023.

Borrowing
Government borrowing this year expected to be £11.6bn lower than forecast at the Spring Statement.
This is set to fall from £31.8bn in 2019/20 to £26.7bn in 2020-21, £23.8bn in 2021/22, £20.8bn in 2022/23 and £19.8bn in 2023-24 – its lowest level in more than 20 years.
National debt peaked in 2016/17 at 85.2% of GDP.
It then falls in every year of the forecast from 83.7% this year to 74.1% in 23-24.

Business
The Annual Investment Allowance will be raised from £200,000 to £1m for two years.
£200m will be given to the British Business Bank to replace access to the European Investment Fund if required.

Small businesses
Start-up loans funding to be extended to 2021
For smaller firms taking on apprentices, the government will halve the amount they have to contribute through the apprenticeship levy from 10% to 5%.

High Street
Government has pledged £675m to help high streets transform.
The funding will be used to create a Future High Streets Fund to support councils drawing up formal plans for the transformation of their high streets.

For the next two years all retailers in England with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will have their business rates bill cut by a third – meaning an annual saving of “up to £8,000 for up to 90% of all independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes”, Hammond said.

Northern Powerhouse
Increase in the Transforming Cities Fund of £2.4bn to support Northern Powerhouse Project

Tax
National Living Wage to rise in April from £7.83 to £8.21.
Personal tax allowance to rise to £12,500 and higher rate tax threshold to £50,000 by April 2019.
UK Digital Services Tax expected to raise over £400m a year but Hammond stressed that it will target established tech giants rather than start-ups.

Cigarettes, alcohol, fuel
Fuel duty frozen for ninth successive year
Price of tobacco to rise at the rate of inflation plus 2%.
Beer and cider duties to stay the same.

Housing
Stamp duty relief to be extended for all first time buyers of shared ownership properties valued up to £500,000.
£500m more allocated for the Housing Infrastructure Fund to build 650,000 homes.

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