Autumn Budget 2017: What it means for you
Today was the Autumn Budget 2017 (22 November 2017), the biggest day in the year for your finances. The Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a lot of changes around money, budgeting and savings – and they all affect your cash.
The Autumn Budget 2017 can be confusing and it’s no surprise if you don’t understand how it affects you. Don’t worry – we’ll take you through the biggest updates to explain what they mean for you and your finances. And we’ll also explain whether you’ll be better or worse off.
The top Autumn Budget 2017 announcements
Here are the biggest Autumn Budget 2017 announcements. We’ve only focused on the changes that affect personal finances – so not the updates for businesses or the economy.
Universal Credit waiting time: Applying for Universal Credit? This will now be easier. The Chancellor said claimants won’t have to wait seven days before they are entitled to money – entitlement will start from the day you apply. You’ll be able to apply for advances online within five days and the repayments period for this will be now be 12 months.
National living wage: From April 2018, the National Living Wage will rise from £7.50 an hour to £7.83 an hour. The National Living Wage is the legal minimum you can be paid if you’re aged 25 or over.
Tax thresholds: The Personal Allowance for basic rate income tax will rise to £11,850 from April 2018. So if you earn less than this in a year, you won’t pay any income tax.
Millennial Railcard: A new Railcard for 26-to-30-year-olds will launch in 2018. This means that young people will be able to get a third off their train tickets by spending £30 a year. Before this, only young people up to 25 could get the discount.
Affordable housing: The Chancellor promised to build an extra 300,000 new homes a year by the mid 2020s to help more people onto the housing ladder.
Stamp duty cuts: First-time buyers will be able to save on stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for any property up to £300,000. The Treasury says this means 80% of first time buyers won’t pay any SDLT.
Tobacco duty: The tax smokers pay on cigarettes will rise to inflation plus 2%. Because of this, the cost of a pack of cigarettes could increase by about 6%.
Fuel tax frozen: The Chancellor confirmed that fuel duty wouldn’t increase, for both petrol and diesel drivers. According to the Treasury, this will save a typical driver £160 a year.
Higher diesel tax: Diesel car drivers will pay more in tax – so from April 2018, the first year VED rate will go up by one band. This will only be for existing cars that don’t meet the latest standards, not the newer, more economically-friendly models.
Will you be better or worse off?
The Chancellor used the Autumn Budget 2017 to help out younger people. The new Railcard and stamp duty cuts were some of the best announcements for younger people – and mean they could save quite a bit of cash.
People receiving benefits are also doing slightly better, with the changes to the Universal Credit waiting time and advances application. You can find out when Universal Credit will affect you with this entitledto calculator.
Diesel drivers will be worse off, as they’ll have to pay more in tax. And smokers will also end up slightly out of pocket, with cigarettes costing more.