When is the Spring Budget 2017?
Philip Hammond will take to the dispatch box at 12:30pm on Wednesday 8 March after Prime Minster’s Questions. It will be the last Spring Budget after the Chancellor announced last November that the main Budget would move to Autumn, with the Spring announcement becoming much smaller in scale.
What do we know for certain?
Some Budget changes have already been announced. From 6 April, the amount you can earn before paying the 20p income tax rate will rise from £11,000 to £11,500. The higher rate 40p threshold will rise from £43,000 to £45,000.
The annual ISA limit will increase from £15,240 to £20,000. Corporation tax will be cut from 20 per cent to 19 per cent and petrol duty will remain frozen until April 2018.
The Government has already trailed a number of announcements before Wednesday’s speech:
The Government has said £320m will to go towards 140 new free schools, meaning they are run by local groups rather than local authorities.
Many of the new builds are expected to be selective schools as Theresa May reverses the long-standing ban on grammars. There will also reportedly be a £216m pot to refurbish existing schools, though this will barely put a dent in the £13.8bn needed, according to the latest National Audit Office report.
Science and innovation fund
Mr Hammond is also expected to announce a £500m boost to British science and innovation to fund a hi-tech future for the country. This will go towards a shake-up of technical training and education, with the introduction of new ‘T-levels’.
“We will take further action to give our young people the training they need to access the highly skilled and highly paid jobs of the future. Not only is this vital for them as individuals, it is vital for British business, too. All the leading business organisations consistently tell me that access to highly skilled workers is the key prerequisite for Britain’s future economic success,” Hammond wrote in the Sunday Times.
The Chancellor is expected to announce £1.3bn - £1.5bn to avert a crisis social care which is under immense pressure as a result of local government cuts. He has been given some more wriggle room to spend thanks to higher-than-expected tax receipts in recent months.
Tax increase for self-employed
Currently most self-employed people pay 9 per cent National Insurance. Reports have suggested Philip Hammond will announce a 3p in the pound hike on that rate, bringing it into line with that paid by employed workers.
Business rates, which are based on the value of a company’s property, have attracted a huge amount of negative coverage in recent months. Businesses in wealthy areas that have seen property prices soar since the last valuation seven years ago, face potentially huge hikes.
Following sustained pressure, the Chancellor is expected to offer some relief, though this may only be temporary.
The Confederation of British Industry has pushed for rates to be calculated on the Consumer Price Index instead of the higher Retail Price Index.