K E Y P O I N T S
- The outlook for productivity growth, business investment and GDP growth has been significantly downgraded
- Stamp duty abolished for first-time buyers on homes up to £300,000, up to £500,000 in London
- Chancellor bowed to pressure over controversial Universal Credit with a £1.5 billion package to cut waiting period for payments and to make it easier for claimants to receive an advance
- An extra £3 billion will be set aside over the next two years to prepare for “every possible outcome” in the Brexit process
- Extra £2.8bn to NHS resource spending and £350 million available immediately to allow health trusts to plan for this winter
- Basic rate income tax threshold will rise to £11,850 in April 2018 and higher rate threshold to rise to £46,350.
- A further pay rise of £600 for full-time workers through an increase in the National Living Wage. It will rise 4.4% in April, from £7.50 an hour to £7.83.
- £500 million investment in artificial intelligence and other technical innovations including driverless cars and electric vehicle charging points
- Fuel duty rise cancelled again
- Duties on “so-called white ciders” from 2019 will increase, but duties on other ciders, wines, spirits and beer will be frozen
- Tobacco duty to rise by 2% as planned and 1% on hand rolling tobacco
- Extra £28m to help Grenfell residents and those in the surrounding area
S N A P V E R D I C T
From Paul Waugh
“No majority, little spare money, zero charisma. Philip Hammond was on the defensive before he’d even opened his mouth today. Thanks to more cash for the NHS and housing, including a stamp duty cut for first time buyers, and a surprise £3bn for Brexit, his Budget avoided the historically low expectations made of him.
“But the big story was the severely downgraded growth figures that meant he couldn’t do anything genuinely radical.
“Having told us he was “not deaf” to the public’s howls of pain over austerity, many voters will feel he is not really listening. Nurses won’t be delighted by the ‘jam tomorrow’ promise of pay rise and the housing plan -stamp duty aside - seems a collection of micro-policies that may be more spin than substance. He did listen on Universal Credit but only under intense pressure from his own backbenchers
“With Brexit looming, safety-first caution was his priority, technocratic tweaking and reviews were his method. Yet while Hammond tried to reassure his party that ‘nothing has changed’ on getting the deficit down, for both him and the PM that phrase remains the most toxic political curse.”
B E S T L I N E S
This is the bit with the long economicky words. Philip Hammond
This isn't the time for jokes. And even if it were, his jokes are shit. Ian Dunt, Editor of Politics.co.uk
T A K E H O M E M E S S A G E
The message this morning from Downing Street was the Budget would mean “significant investments for the future in skills, infrastructure and research and development” - they kept the silver lining for first-time home buyers to themselves.
But that future is already one of less growth, less business investment, less productivity and - so far - £3 billion to plug a Brexit-shaped hole.