Yesterday, the Chancellor announced the Autumn Budget 2017. Whilst there has been mixed reactions by the wider media, with some feeling that the Chancellor “delivered a shrewd but optimistic budget” this year and others suggesting little to lift the gloom of further uncertainty.
- The National Minimum Wage will increase by 4.4% to £7.83 from April 2018.
- Basic-rate income tax threshold will rise to £11,850 up from £11,501 today, while the higher rate threshold will rise to £46,350 up from £45,001 today, from April 2018.
- ‘Millennial Railcard’ for people aged 26-30.
- VAT threshold for small businesses to remain at £85,000 for two years.
- Uprating of business rates will be brought forward, based on the CPI inflation index, not RPI by two years, saving businesses £2.3bn.
- The government will make a £385m investment in 5G and full fibre broadband.
- From next April, diesel cars that don’t meet air quality standards will be hit by an additional tax, this does not include van drivers.
- Fuel duty has been frozen for the eighth year in a row saving the average driver £160 a year.
- Short-haul air passenger duty rates and long-haul economy rates to be frozen paid for by an increase in premium-class tickets and on private jets.
- £540m to support the growth of electric cars, including more charging points.
- A further £2.3bn allocated for investment in research and development.
What does the budget mean for the North East?
One of the first key announcements for the North East was, the Chancellor has also committed £337m for new trains to improve the Tyne and Wear Metro system. The carriages that have been on the rails since 1980 will now be replaced. The new carriages should be running by late 2021. The Rail Minister stated, “Clearly the Metro network is iconic and a really important part of living in the North East. It is not just about jobs and going to university but it is part of the region’s identity.”
A “North of Tyne” Mayor to be elected in 2019.
This means that the three councils serving communities North of the Tyne, Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside will team up to create a new, combined authority to be chaired by an elected regional mayor, in 2019. This includes funding of £600m for the new authority paid over 30 years.
Find out what the budget means for you.