Spring Budget 2017 at-a-glance guide: All of chancellor Philip Hammond's big announcements you need to know

 
Hayley Kirton
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Not all of us have as much time to spend reading Budget paperwork as this gentleman (Source: Getty)

Chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his first (and last, thanks to a shift around in dates) spring Budget speech.

But, as not everybody has the time to go back and listen to his words of wisdom in full, here's an at-a-glance breakdown of the biggest announcements you need to know:

Economics, public spending and politics

  • The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now forecasts growth of two per cent in 2017, up sharply from its previous prediction of 1.4 per cent.
  • However, growth was revised down to 1.6 per cent for 2018-19, then 1.7 per cent in 2019-2020 and 1.9 per cent in 2020-21. The forecast remained unchanged at two per cent for 2021-22.
  • By comparison, last November's forecasts for the economy were 1.8 per cent in 2018-19, 2.1 per cent in 2019-20 and 2.1 per cent in 2020-21.
  • With GDP growth of 1.8 per cent in 2016, the UK was the second-fastest growing economy in the G7, lagging only behind Germany.
  • Inflation forecast to rise to 2.4 per cent in 2017 and 2.3 per cent in 2018, although it is also predicted to fall back to two per cent in 2019.
  • Borrowing is now predicted to be £16.4bn lower than forecast for 2016-17 at £51.7bn. Borrowing forecast at £58.3bn for 2017-18 and then to fall to £16.8bn by 2021-22.
  • Public sector net borrowing predicted to drop from the estimated 3.8 per cent of GDP for 2015-16 to 2.6 per cent for 2016-17, and then to 0.7 per cent in 2021-22.
  • Public sector net debt forecast to rise to 86.6 per cent in 2016-17, but then will fall to 79.8 per cent in 2021-22.
  • Employment tipped to keep growing until 2021 to reach 32.5m, while 31.7m people were employed in 2016.
  • Wages predicted to grow three per cent this year, and then by three per cent in 2018-19, by 3.3 per cent in 2019-20, 3.7 per cent in 2020-21 and 3.9 per cent in 2021-22. However, these figures do not take inflation into account.
  • Business investment predicted to fall by 0.1 per cent this year, before bouncing back in 2018-19 to grow by 3.7 per cent. Investment growth will peak at 4.2 per cent in 2019-20, the year the UK leaves the EU.

Personal taxation and national insurance

  • Tax-free dividend allowance to be cut from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.
  • Class 4 National Insurance Contributions rate for self-employed to increase by one per cent to 10 per cent from April 2018, then further increased by one per cent in 2019.
  • Class 2 National Insurance Contributions to be abolished from 2018. This was previously announced by Hammond's predecessor George Osborne and is supposed to offset some of the changes to Class 4.
  • The government is also considering changes to the tax treatment of benefits in kind, accommodation benefits and employee expenses.
  • Start of quarterly tax reporting delayed by one year for the smallest of businesses until April 2019.
  • Personal allowance to be raised to £11,500 and higher rate tax threshold to be raised to £45,000 this year, as planned.

Savings and pensions

  • New National Savings & Investment bond, which was announced in last year's Autumn Statement, will be launched in April, with a 2.2 per cent interest rate.
  • The Lifetime Isa is also due to launch next month.
  • No major changes to pensions.

Corporation tax

  • Rate of corporation tax to be cut to 19 per cent in April and then to 17 per cent in 2020, as was announced at the Autumn Statement.
  • The government plans to rework some of the red tape associated with research and development tax credits.

Business rates

  • The chancellor did not go as far as abolishing business rates but did say the government would be consulting on the controversial issue ahead of the next reevaluation.
  • £435m set aside to help businesses cope with rising rates, including a £300m hardship fund to be set up to target individual cases of those badly affected.
  • Any business coming out of small business rate relief will benefit from an additional £600 annual cap, so no business' bill will increase next year by more than £50 a month.
  • Pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000, which is 90 per cent of all pubs, will be given a £1,000 discount on business rates.

Vices

Work and working families

  • £5m in returnship funding promised to help people return to work after a career break.
  • The government will soon start rolling out tax-free childcare for working families with kids under the age of 12, providing up to £2,000 a year per child.
  • Free childcare offer to double in September from 15 to 30 hours a week for working families in England with children aged three and four, up to a total value of £5,000 per child.
  • The government will also consult in the summer over parental leave for the self-employed.

Education

  • T-levels, a technical-skilled focused alternative to A-levels, officially announced.
  • Number of hours of training for students on technical routes aged between 16 and 19 to be raised by more than 50 per cent.
  • £320m to fund new free schools and £216m to invest in school maintenance announced.
  • Free transport scheme for children from poorer families to go to selective schools revealed.

Science, technology and innovation

  • Support announced for 1,000 PhD places, particularly for those studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which is an investment with a price tag of £90m.
  • £270m set aside to help with development of so-called disruptive tech, such as biotech, robotic systems and driverless cars.
  • £16m for a new 5G mobile technology hub and a £200m fund for superfast broadband.

Transport

  • Local authorities encouraged to tackle urban congestion with a £690m fund to be competitively allocated.
  • £220m to be invested to tackle pinch points on national road networks, including £90m for the North and £23m for the midlands.

Health and social care

  • An additional £2bn earmarked for adult social care spending over the next three years.
  • £425m for investment in the NHS over the next three years. This includes £100m to go towards accident and emergency departments in 2017-18 to help them prepare for winter and provide more on-site GP facilities.

Consumer protection

  • The government is to consider closely ways it can better protect consumers, such as stopping customers from being charged unexpectedly when subscriptions run their course and fining companies which mistreat and mislead consumers.

Financial services

Oil and gas

Tax avoidance

  • New penalties for enablers, such as tax advisers, of tax avoidance schemes which are later defeated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are coming in. This was originally announced in last year's Autumn Statement.

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