Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver his 2017 Autumn Budget speech today at 12.30pm. We will be keeping you up to date on the key Budget announcements, and will be supplying a full summary which will appear on the site tomorrow morning.
Following the release of new figures that revealed a rise in government borrowing in October, Mr Hammond faces an uphill battle in attempting to balance the books against a weakening economic backdrop.
In his Budget speech, the Chancellor is expected to announce a range of fiscal measures designed to help young people: Mr Hammond recently stated that it is ‘not acceptable’ that millennials are unable to get onto the property ladder.
As a result, many expect the Chancellor to announce a change to the way in which stamp duty land tax is charged for first-time homebuyers, with some experts predicting that Mr Hammond could scrap the tax altogether.
Meanwhile, others predict that the Chancellor will announce changes to income tax. He previously pledged to raise the personal allowance (PA) to £12,500 by 2020, and many anticipate that the PA could be frozen in today’s Budget speech.
The Chancellor is also rumoured to be considering a host of measures intended to help UK businesses, including an overhaul of the business rates system.
Following calls made by leading business groups, including the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Mr Hammond may seek to stall the upcoming 3.9% business rates rise, due to come into effect from April next year, and look to abolish the so-called business rates ‘staircase tax’.
Furthermore, some industry experts believe that the government may also lower the VAT threshold, which currently stands at £85,000. However, the FSB has warned that reducing this threshold will ‘drain small businesses of time and money’, and create ‘a real drag on business output’.