Startup Advice

Hammond's Autumn Budget: Everything you need to know

Oliver Jones

Key takeaway's from the Autumn budget.

It's important for small business owners to keep abreast of government policy. Here's the key takeaway's from today's budget:

Small business owners will have been pleased to hear Hammond acknowledge that small business is under pressure.

As a result, there will be no reduction in the VAT threshold for small businesses, and the business rate changes next year will be based on CPI, not RPI.

That will save small businesses £2.3 billion, a move sure to be welcomed by groups such as the Federation of Small Businesses, who have been calling for similar measures.

In addition, businesses hit by the "staircase tax" will revert to their pre-staircase bill, and the tax discount for pubs has been extended by one year.

Other key items:

  • £3bn set aside for Brexit. This is a massive increase on the £700 million previously set aside, and may suggest the government is preparing for a 'hard' or 'no deal' Brexit.
  • Growth forecast has been revised to 1.5% in 2017. As we've pointed out on the BizHub before, this means we're currently at the back of the G7 leaderboard in terms of growth, down from pole position at the beginning of the year.
  • £44 billion capital investment in housing. Stamp duty abolished for first time buyers of homes worth up to £300,000.
  • The government's considering a new tax on waste plastics such as coffee cups and takeaway boxes, following up on the success of similar measures in reducing waste from plastic shopping bags.
  • National Living Wage increase to £7.83 per hour, starting in April 2018, while the waiting time for Universal Credit has been shortened from 6 weeks to 5 weeks.
  • NHS spend upped by £2.8 billion - though still short of the £4 billion recommended by Simon Stevens, head of the NHS.
  • Income tax threshold is rising to £11,850 next year, meaning we'll earn about £300 more before paying tax. There's also an increase to the 40% tax threshold, which will rise from £45,001 to £46,350.
  • £400m on charging stations and infrastructure for electric cars, as well as a tax rebate for those charging electric cars at work.
  • Tax breaks for North Sea oil producers.
  • £2.3bn of investment in research and development, with a 12% tax break for research spending.
  • In education, we have an extra £40m for maths teachers; as well as a plan to triple the number of science teachers to 12,000 and to set up a new national centre for computing. A new digital retraining scheme is to be rolled out nation-wide.
  • A new railcard for those aged 26-30.