The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has announced his Spring Budget. Below is a summary of the key points relevant to our members:
Growth and public borrowing
The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) has revised up the expected growth of the British economy from 1.7% to 2% in 2017. However, it has revised down the figures for 2018, 2019 and 2020. In addition to this the OBR is expecting public borrowing to be lower in 2016/17-2021/22.
Health and social care spending
The Chancellor re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to NHS England’s Five Year Forward View. In addition to this he pledged an additional £100m fund for A&E in England. There will also be an additional £325m to support the implementation of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP). The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, will make a further announcement on this. Hammond announced an additional £2bn for social care over the next three years for local authorities in England. This is aimed to help local authorities struggling to adequately fund social care and £1bn will be available in the next financial year. The Government will publish a Green Paper on social care later this year setting out its vision in greater detail.
A cap on increase of business rates at £50 a month for small business was announced. In addition to this local authorities will be given a £300m fund to deliver discretionary relief for “individual hard cases”.
The small business relief rate is applicable to businesses where:
National Insurance Contribution increase for self-employed
The Chancellor announced an increase in the National Insurance Contributions (NIC) for self-employed workers. The raise will be by 1% to 10% in total from April 2018 and to 11% in 2019.
In addition to this, it was announced that the Government will launch a consultation on taxation of benefits in kind this year.
Other announcements included:
The full budget documents are available on the Government’s website.