Published on Wednesday 22 November 2017 in Van News
Vanarama lifts the lid on the Autumn Budget
The Chancellor has unveiled the Government's financial plans. Vanarama's Laura Day takes a closer look at what's inside the big red box this year.
Well, we've all been eagerly awaiting the financial announcements and today at 12.30pm, we were put out of our misery, when the Government's latest expenditure plans were revealed.
Chancellor Hammond identified that within this Budget, "we express our resolve to look forwards not backwards". So, without further ado, let's shine a light on some of the key announcements.
Fuel duty freeze
Good news! In 2018, the fuel duty will remain frozen for the 8th year in a row, saving drivers around £160 a year on average.
Diesel in danger zone
Plans to increase road taxes on older diesel cars are fully under way, in order to fund the £220m clean air fund set to begin next year. Any diesel cars that fail to meet the latest emission standards will face a tax increase.
So, as long as you're driving a diesel car that meets the 2017 emission standards, you've got nothing to worry about!
BUT a victory for vans
You'll be happy to know that this hike in tax will NOT apply to vans.
The Chancellor said that "no white van man, and no white van woman" will be hit by these measures, meaning you can rest assured that your business will not suffer from these rising road-taxes.
With an electric car revolution on the horizon, it is no longer a question of IF it happens, but WHEN.
The Government plan to invest £400m in to improving the charging infrastructure around the UK, as this is one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to electric cars.
With greater charging accessibility, people will be more likely to consider the switch to electric – a switch that will inevitably be a big step towards a cleaner, greener world.
The Chancellor says that over the next 5 years, the government will provide a capital investment of £44bn, in order to boost the housing market.
He claims that by the mid-2020s there should be 300,000 homes being built every year.
Stamp duty abolished for first-time buyers
From today, as part of a measure to boost the economy, the Government will abolish stamp duty for all first-time buyers for homes worth up to £300,000 in the UK.
Or on the first £300,000 for homes worth up to £500,000 in expensive areas such as London.
National living wage rise
From April 2018 the national living wage will increase by 4.4%, from £7.50/hour to £7.83/hour.
This means that the UK's lowest-paid workers will receive a 33p rise in their wage, amounting to an annual increase of around £600 for a full-time worker.
The Chancellor is also introducing a new higher tax-free personal allowance - up from £11,501 to £11,850. Likewise, the higher rate threshold will also rise from £45,001 to £46,350.
It's good news for the 26-30-year olds, because the Chancellor confirmed that the new 26-30 National Railcard will be introduced at the beginning of next year.
Costing only £30, and lasting a whole year, this new railcard will give you a third off many fares, which means you could save yourself a tonne in travel expenditure.
New NHS funds
This year, £3.5bn will be invested in upgrading NHS buildings and improving care. Alongside this, £2.8bn will go towards improving A&E performance, reducing waiting times for patients and treating more people in the winter.
And, nurses will also be given a pay review, if not an immediate rise!
So, there you have it – the Chancellor's "balanced approach"! Set against the backdrop of a weakening economic picture amid Brexit, it's not surprising that there are no radical policy announcements, but a bundle of new funding proposals which will hopefully begin to have a positive impact upon our economy.
With an extra £3bn set aside for Brexit preparations over the next two years, one thing is certain: the future is destined for new challenges, with the promise of a new relationship with our European neighbours and a future outside the European Union.