Today saw the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announce the first autumn Budget. Experts predicted a fairly unexciting affair, with money required for dealing with Brexit. However, some announcements were made that are likely to impact daily life more immediately. We have a look at some of the announcements here.
With reports of a lack of affordable housing are never far away from the news, it is perhaps unsurprising that some of the biggest proposals come under this heading.
Stamp duty is to be immediately abolished for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. For properties costing up to £500,000, no stamp duty will be paid on the first £300,000.
The BBC reports that 95% of all first-time buyers will benefit from this, with 80% paying no stamp duty at all. Our property team will report on this in further detail in due course.
Council tax on empty properties
The Chancellor has given local authorities power to increase the amount of council tax levied on empty properties. As it stood, owners needed only pay 50% council tax on empty properties. The Budget scraps this, and ensures that landlords of empty properties will pay 100% council tax. The idea will be to discourage landlords from keeping properties empty. The Chancellor said, “It cannot be right to leave property empty when so many are desperate for a place to live.”
The Chancellor announced a long-term goal to build 300,00 homes a year by the mid-2020s. The Chancellor also announced that there would be a review of the gap between planning permissions being granted and housing building starting.
National Living Wage
In an announcement that will be welcomed by many people, the National Living Wage will be rising in April 2018, from £7.50 an hour to £7.83. The minimum wage for under 25s will also increase in April.
The Chancellor announced two changes to income tax. The first is that the tax-free personal allowance on income tax will rise to £11,850 in April 2018. Secondly, is that the higher-rate tax threshold will increase to £46,350.
Finally, we will take a look at some of the Yorkshire-specific announcements the Chancellor made.
The Chancellor promised £35 million for improvements on the Trans-Pennine train route between Manchester, Leeds and York. Further, the Budget also contained a further £14 million for use on the region’s flood defences.