Budget 2017: Fit for the Future?

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Budget 2017: Fit for the Future?

FPC reviews the Autumn 2017 budget and what it will mean for our clients...

Chancellor Philip Hammond insisted that he knew how to show the nation a good time as he announced "more maths for everyone" before plodding through a fairly uneventful budget speech. 

The announcement that stamp duty for first time buyers will be reduced to zero on the first £300,000 (on purchases up to £500,000) should bring a little hope for those starting out on the property ladder and the 26-30 age group will benefit from the launch of a new discount railcard, even if there was no mention of a review of student loans.

Behind the scenes was the underlying message that growth is still slowing and although the deficit is coming down, the theme of 'fit for the future' essentially translated into it’s going to be a long hard slog to make sure we are.

In the face of falling growth forecasts there was a boost for knowledge intensive businesses, a new industrial Strategy Challenge fund and more money for local infrastructure projects and housing. But, with little room for manoeuvre in the face of a rising BREXIT bill. there were no seismic changes -  always  a relief for a financial planner!

So to summarise:

  • No changes to pensions – carry forward of unused reliefs and higher rate tax relief intact
  • No changes to tax rates or allowances - other than the usual inflationary increases including the lifetime allowance, although the £100,000 income for limit for the loss of the personal allowance remains frozen. 
  • No change to the nil rate band for inheritance tax or changes to business property relief which had been feared but the government will publish a consultation in 2018 on how to make the taxation of trusts simpler, fairer and more transparent.

We will continue to peruse the small print, as no doubt more will emerge in the coming days so we will keep you posted but as always our focus will remain on the legitimate use of tax allowances and reliefs and on helping you protect all you have worked hard to achieve. 

Many of you are included in the 1% that Philip Hammond referred to today – the 1% who now pay almost a third of all income tax in the UK.  You are also in the 0.04% of the population who face an inheritance tax burden on your estate and have contributed hugely during your working lives to the economy, through your own businesses, professions and the employment of others. The economy needs more folk just like you!

Let’s hope some of the measures announced today do actually support and encourage entrepreneurship and enterprise, resulting in a better future for all. 

For a full review, check out Autumn Budget 2017: 25 things you need to know.  As always if you have any queries, concerns, comments or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact one of the FPC team on 01704 571777.