Westminster Palace (Houses of Parliament), London, late afternoon
Image Source: Chris Lawrence
The Chancellor told the Commons that the era of austerity in Britain is 'finally coming to an end'
Richard Bell

Autumn Budget 2018: Biggest takeaways from Hammond’s speech

Philip Hammond spent more than an hour delivering his Autumn Budget speech yesterday (October 29), outlining a raft of changes to taxation and spending that will affect people, businesses and public sector bodies in the coming financial year and beyond.

Key points in Mr Hammond’s third Budget as Chancellor – and the UK’s last as a member of the European Union – included a 4.9% increase in the National Living Wage (from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour) and an increase of £650 in the personal allowance threshold, which will rise to £12,500 in April (a year ahead of schedule).

He also confirmed that duties on a number of products are to be frozen, including beer, cider and spirits, while the stamp duty exemption threshold for first-time buyers will rise to include properties worth up to £500k.

Changes to pensions and welfare, meanwhile, will make 2.4 million working families with children better off by £630 a year, the Chancellor said.

Most poignantly, he told the Commons that the era of austerity in Britain is “finally coming to an end”, with the economy set for growth of 1.6% in 2019 (up from the previously forecast 1.3%) and annual forecasts over the coming years rising to 1.4% in 2020, 1.4% in 2021, 1.5% in 2022 and 1.6% in 2023.

Mr Hammond also said there are now 3.3 million more people in work than there were in 2010, and the economy is likely to create another 800,000 jobs by 2022.

Other highlights included a new digital services tax for big tech businesses, the abolition of Private finance initiative (PFI) contracts and a £30bn package to improve England’s road infrastructure.

At Bdaily, we reached out to business leaders across the North East, Yorkshire and London to hear what they had to say on the Budget. For detailed regional commentary, please see:

Autumn Budget 2018: North East businesses react

Autumn Budget 2018: Reactions from across Yorkshire

Autumn Budget 2018: London business leaders react

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