Philip Hammond presented the Autumn Budget yesterday (22nd November) and we think it’s fair to say it was aimed at winning back the youth vote from Labour. The immediate scrapping of Stamp Duty for first time buyers on the first £300K of house purchases under £500K is to be welcomed but only time will tell whether this change will be enough to help young people find the deposits and mortgages they need during a time of increasing interest rates or simply an opportunity for lawyers and barristers to find loopholes for wealthy individuals to exploit! Changes to Universal Credits and the introduction of railcards for under 30’s will also, no doubt, be welcomed by younger voters.
Turning to business, it was feared there may be a change of policy on the reduction of Corporation Tax rates but this did not materialise, perhaps with a nod towards the impending Brexit. Instead, increases to R&D credits and measures to reduce business rates increases are good news for SMEs. The freezing for 2 years of the VAT registration threshold (it was believed this may be dropped as a revenue raising exercise) is good news for businesses approaching the limit but bad news for those struggling to compete on price with non-VAT registered organisations.
Closer to home, Hull and East Yorkshire was not mentioned for the first budget in a while although funding for improved internet access on the Trans Pennine rail route was announced along with a government review of whether property developers / construction companies are hoarding land with planning permissions. This report is expected before the Spring Statement so expect new compulsory purchase powers for councils in the not too distant future. These developments will be being watched by Hull City Council very closely we suspect!
To read our detailed analysis please click here. As ever, if you have any queries whatsoever then please get in touch.