There was some good news for UK businesses, with promises of significant infrastructure
£500m to support the rollout of new communication and productivity technologies,
including the 5G network, artificial intelligence and full-fibre rollout
£2.3bn for research and development of emerging technologies
Rises in business rates to be switched from tracking the RPI to the CPI measure of inflation -
in real terms this is a cut of £2.3bn
Freezing the VAT threshold for small businesses
£30m to develop distance learning programmes for digital skills
Working with CBI and TUC on the National Retraining Scheme for the workplace
It wasn’t all giveaways. Philip Hammond also announced a series of measures designed to clamp
down on digital companies – and to increase the amount of tax they pay by a collective £200m each
From 2019, UK sales from digital businesses that are paid to low tax jurisdictions will be subject to
UK income tax. In addition, there were promises to introduce joint liability for online sales platforms
– designed to prevent VAT fraud by sellers on major sites like Amazon and eBay.
Inflation-busting minimum wage rise and personal tax breaks.
It was good news for all UK taxpayers, with the tax-free personal allowance on income tax rising
£350, from £11.500 to £11,850 in line with inflation. It was even better news for high earners, with
the higher tax threshold, also increased, from £45,000 to £46,350. The new bands are set to come in
with the new tax year, in April 2018. Fuel duty was also frozen – in a move that will benefit
Those on minimum wage also received good news – with the National Living Wage set to rise at
above inflation levels across the board:
For over 25s – up 33p an hour, from £7.50 to £7.83.
For 21 – 24 year-olds – up 33p an hour, from £7.05 to £7.38
For 18 – 20 year-olds – up 30p an hour, from £5.60 to £5.90
For 17 year-olds – up 15p an hour, from £4.05 to £4.20
For apprentices – up 20p an hour, from £3.50 5o £3.70
The future for low-wage earners looks brighter, with the chancellor aiming to increase this to £9 an
hour by 2020. Of course, these changes do mean that many businesses will have to pay more in
wages, increasing their operating costs.
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