Spring Budget 2017 – as it happened

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Policies
  • ‘Building an economy that works for everyone.’
  • ‘We will not saddle our children with ever increasing debt.’
  • Making the UK ‘the best place in the world to do business.’
  • ‘A stronger, fairer, better Britain.’
The economy
  • An economy that has continued to confound the commentators with robust growth.’
  • The UK’s economic growth in 2016 was second only to that of Germany.
  • ‘The deficit is down but debt is still too high.’
  • A further two thirds of a million people will be in work by 2021.
  • The national debt is still £1.7 trillion.
  • The Office for Budget Responsibility confirms the continued resilience of the British economy.
Personal taxation
  • Income tax personal allowance up to £11,500, with £45,000 higher rate threshold, from April 2017 as planned.
  • 1% of taxpayers now pay 27% of income tax.
  • National insurance for self-employed up from 9% to 10% in 2018, then to 11% in 2019.
  • Tax-free dividend allowance reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from 2018.
Business taxation
  • Corporation tax rate to be 19% from 2017, and 17% from 2020 as previously announced.
  • ‘Making Tax Digital’ to be deferred by one year for businesses below the VAT threshold.
  • R&D tax credit administration: simplification measures announced.
  • Review of North Sea taxation.
Business rates
  • Revaluation process to be smoother and more frequent.
  • A discount for the smallest 90% of pubs.
  • Funds to be provided to local authorities for discretionary business rates relief.
  • The burden eased for businesses coming out of small business relief.
Other tax measures
  • ‘Robust action on tax evasion, avoidance and non-compliance.
  • Penalties for professionals who enable unsuccessful tax avoidance arrangements.
  • No changes to previously planned alcohol and tobacco duty rises.
  • Soft drinks levy forecasts reduced: rates confirmed at 18% and 24%.
Spending measures
  • Tax-free childcare scheme to be rolled out from April 2017.
  • £5 million to aid ‘returnships’.
  • Investment in infrastructure and training to improve productivity.
  • Further funds to the devolved administrations.
  • Investment in education and skills.
  • Funding for a further 110 free schools (on top of the existing commitment to 500).
  • Extension of free school transport.
  • Maintenance loans for part-time undergraduates and doctoral students, and for technical education.
  • Introduction of ‘T levels’ for technical education.
  • Pilot projects to test different approach to lifelong learning.
  • £2 billion for the social care system over the next three years.
  • £100 million for GP triage projects to deal with inappropriate A&E attendance.
Other
  • National living wage up to £7.50 in April 2017.
  • Green paper on protecting the interests of consumers.
  • Commitment to the NS&I bond confirmed, with interest of 2.2% up to £3,000.
  • Further devolution to London.
  • White paper to encourage more free schools.
  • Green paper this year on funding care in old age.