An earlier than expected increase in the income tax threshold and the higher rate threshold were the highlights of the Chancellor’s Budget.
Philip Hammond said the personal allowance, the income at which workers begin to pay tax, would increase to £12,500 from April, with the amount when the top rate of income tax is applied rising to £50,000 at the same time. They had been due to come into effect in April 2020.
Alongside this were measures including the confirmation of a Digital Services Tax aimed at online giants making huge profits, plus cash for house building, counter-terrorism policing and the Ministry of Defence. Here are the main points from the Budget 2018:
- Income tax personal allowance to rise to £12,500 from April 2019
- Higher rate income tax threshold to rise to £50,000 at the same time
- The national living wage is to increase from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour
- Digital Services Tax to be introduced in April 2020 targeting online giants with global revenues of more than £500 million
- Schools in England will be handed £400 million in extra funding
- The NHS will see a £20.5 billion real terms increase in funding
- Fuel duty frozen for the ninth year in a row
- Counter-terrorism police to get an extra £160 million funding for 2019/20
- An extra £1 billion over five years for the Universal Credit benefit programme
- Funding for Government departments’ Brexit preparations increased from £1.5b to £2b
- New tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging which is less than 30% recycled
- A £650 million Future High Streets Fund co-funded by the Government to help councils improve high streets.
- Duty on beer, cider & spirits frozen for a year
- Tobacco duty escalator to continue to rise at inflation plus 2%
- Remote Gaming Duty to increase to 21% for online gambling on ‘games of chance’ from 2019
- An extra £1 billion for the Ministry of Defence to boost cyber and anti-submarine warfare programmes to the end of 2019
- A £420 million fund will help local highway authorities repair potholes and carry out other maintenance tasks