This year’s Autumn Statement fell on Wednesday 23rd November, and it was Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement. Some changes will positively impact lower income families and workers, ensuring more affordable homes and higher minimum wage. The Chancellor also touched upon Brexit, and how the economy has slowly been recovering.
Predicted to rise to £7.60 earlier in the year, the minimum wage for people over 25 years old will see a small increase in April 2017. At present time, the minimum wage is £7.20, and it will increase to £7.50. Seemingly insignificant, this increase will signify a pay rise of around £500 a year for full time workers.
First introduced by the previous Chancellor, George Osbourne, the 4% minimum wage pay rise is a step forward to the Government’s goal of reaching £9 an hour in 2020 for minimum wage workers aged 25 years old and older.
The expected 2p per litre rise in fuel costs has been cancelled; fuel duty is going to be frozen, saving around £130 per car driver and £350 per van driver a year. Insurance premium tax will rise to 12%, which will translate to rising costs of vehicle insurance and home and travel insurances.
The Government will allocate £1.4 billion to ensure homes become more affordable. The investment will be shared between Rent to Buy, Affordable Rent, and Shared Ownership, resulting in approximately 40,000 homes being built.
Letting agent fees will also suffer alterations; the Chancellor announced that the Government will ban fees that cover basic administration, credit checks, and references, as such fees can cost tenants up to £700.
Cold calling will potentially be banned, as the Government will be fighting pension scams. As many as 11 million pensioners have been targeted for these fraud schemes, with around 250 million cold calls a year. Fines of up to £500,000 will be instilled but won’t cover texts and emails.
While no changes were announced to the annual allowance of £40,000, there will be a reduction of the money purchase annual allowance to £4,000 for 2017/2018, comprising a decrease of £6,000 from the £10,000 for 2016/2017.
At Burton and Fisher, we can advise you on how all the changes might affect you and your finances; our team has many years of experience, and will ensure you are provided a professional and confidential service. For more information about how we can help you, simply get in touch with us by giving us a call on 01524 416872.