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budget briefcase

Autumn Budget 2017: What you need to know

It's been touted as a budget for Millennials and to include measures to tackle the housing crisis - but what did today's budget actually include?

Well, the big announcements by Chancellor Phillip Hammond included changes to Stamp Duty for first-time buyers, and some adjustments to Universal Credit.

Here's everything you need to know about how the budget will affect you.


If you are claiming or are likely to claim Universal Credit

The seven-day waiting period at the start of new UC claims will be removed from February 2018.

You'll be able to access a full month’s advance payment within five days of making your claim from January 2018. You can claim this online. Repayments of this advance will be over 12 months rather than the current six.

Anyone receiving Housing Benefit at the time of a UC application will continue to receive the benefit for a further two weeks. This change will start in April 2018.

The full roll-out of the full UC service will now be complete by December 2018.

Universal Credit explained



If you are a first-time buyer

Stamp Duty will be abolished for first-time buyers on the first £300,000 of properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The existing rate of 5% will apply between £300,000 and £500,000.

However if the property is worth more than £500,000 then normal Stamp Duty rates will apply to the whole cost, including the first £300,000.

This will be from today, 22nd November 2017.

There will also be investment to encourage the building of new homes.

If you have an empty property

Councils will be able to charge 100% Council Tax on empty properties.



If you are a low earner

The personal allowance - the amount most people can earn before Income Tax is due - will increase from £11,500 to £11,850 in April 2018. This means those earning above this amount will pay £70 less tax a year.

If you earn above £45,000

Also from April 2018, the threshold where the Higher Rate tax rate (40%) begins will increase to £46,350. This could be worth £270 a year.

Read our guide to National Insurance

If you were widowed in the last four years

Anyone who lost their partner in the last four years will be able to claim the Marriage Allowance and backdate it by up to four years. However, the existing eligibility criteria remain, meaning you need to have been married or in a civil partnership, and one must have been a non-tax payer, and the other half a basic rate taxpayer.

How the marriage allowance works



If you earn the Living Wage

In April 2018, the Living Wage will increase from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour. If you work full time this will be worth an extra £600 a year. This is the rate that applies to over 25s.

The minimum wage will also increase.



If you buy petrol or diesel fuel

Fuel duty will be frozen, though that doesn’t mean prices at the pump will stay the same. They can still go up and down depending on the cost of the fuel itself.

How to save fuel when driving

If you drive a diesel car

From next April there will be an increase in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), what we all usually refer to as road tax, for diesel cars registered after 1st April 2018. They will be treated as the VED band above. It’s for cars only, so other vehicles won’t be affected. 

Any more efficient "next-generation" diesels introduced to meet latest standards will not be subject to the increase.

Car tax bands explained

If you have an electric car

There will be investment in infrastructure for charging electric cars. Also if you charge it at work there won’t be a benefit in kind charge.

If you fly

Air Passenger Duty (APD) will be frozen for short-haul flights, and also for economy long-haul flights from April 2019. However this will paid for by an increase to the APD for premium seats and private aircraft.

If you are under 30 and get the train

There will be a new railcard for 26 to 30-year-olds, offering a third off some fares. It will be introduced in Spring 2018.



If you are a smoker or drinker

Tax on beer, wine, spirits and cider will be frozen, though there will be an increase for high strength alcohol, including some ciders. There will be a 2% plus inflation increase to tobacco duty. Hand-rolling tobacco duty will increase by 3% plus inflation.

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