Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has delivered his second Budget. Here we have revealed the key announcements made.
From today, the government will abolish stamp duty for all first-time buyers for homes worth up to £300,000, and buyers will pay £5,000 less on purchases between £300,000 and £500,000.
This will mean 80pc of first-time buyers pay no stamp duty, helping them get on the housing ladder, the government said.
The Chancellor says that over the next five years the government will provide a £44bn capital investment to boost the housing market.
By the mid-2020s there should be 300,000 homes being built every year – the highest level since the 1970s.
Hammond also announced plans to allow councils to charge a 100pc premium on council tax on empty properties.
The success of the 5p plastic carrier bag ‘tax’ and the popularity of BBC One’s Blue Planet has encouraged the government to “investigate how the tax system and charges on single use plastic items can reduce waste”. This means it could consider a tax to single-use plastic items such as packaging and polystyrene takeaway boxes.
From next April, diesel cars that don’t meet air quality standards will be hit by additional tax. But “no white van man, and no white van woman” will be hit by the measures the Chancellor says.
Hammond also unveiled extra funds and tax incentives for electric car drivers, including a new £400m charging infrastructure fund.
Fuel duty has also been frozen for the eighth year in a row, “saving the average driver £160 a year”, the government said.
The government will invest £406m in maths and technical education, and will reward schools and colleges who support their students to study maths by giving them £600 for every extra pupil who decides to take Maths or Further Maths A levels or Core Maths.
National Living Wage
The National Living Wage is to rise by 4.4pc to £7.83 an hour from next April – up from £7.50 today.
The Chancellor announced that the basic-rate income tax threshold will rise to £11,850 in April next year, up from £11,501 today, while the higher rate threshold will rise to £46,350, up from £45,001 today.