Philip Hammond claimed that austerity was ‘coming to an end’ after eight years during his Budget – here are the key points.
Mental health support
Mental health services will see an increase in funding as part of the £20.5 billion funding increase for NHS in England over the next five years.
The funding will pay for a new mental health crisis service, with support to be made available in every major A&E depratement, ensuring those who are struggling with a mental health related illness can get rapid specialist help.
The additional funding will also be backed up with more specialist mental health ambulances and dedicated mental health teams in schools, linking people to other support services.
Callers to NHS 111 will be directed to a 24 hour help service and there will also be greater access to services in the community, including “crisis cafes” where people can get help without having to go to A&E.
Mental health services will see an increase in funding as part of the £20.5 billion funding increase for NHS in England (Photo: Shutterstock)
Personal Tax Allowance
The threshold at which people start paying income tax will rise from £11,850 to £12,500 in April 2019, which will make the basic-rate tax payer £130 better off per year.
The higher rate (the point at which people start paying tax at 40%) will be raised from £46,350 to £50,00.
England’s motorways will see £30 billion of additional funding to help finance major road upgrades, with £420 million used to fund pothole repairs, making them much safer for motorists.
Cut business rates
Small business will see their business rates cut by one third over the next two years, amounting to an annual saving of £8,000 for retailers.
Business premises must have a rateable value of £51,000 or less to qualify as a small retailer and while the funding is for the UK as a whole, how the cash is used is to be decided by the individual nations’ parliaments.
The VAT threshold for small business is also to remain unchanged.
A £695 million initiative will also be funded to help small firms hire apprentices.
Hammond confirmed that fuel duty will be frozen again for the ninth year in a row – an announcement which was already promised by the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party Conference.
This means that motorists will continue to pay the same level of tax on the fuel they buy, although the prices of petrol and oil is likely to fluctuate.
Funding of £1.6 billion will be used to support the Government’s modern industrial strategy, with investment in roads, railways, research and digital infrastructure.
£30 billion of funding will be used to finance major road upgrades, including £420 million to tackle potholes (Photo: Shutterstock)
£400 million extra funding will be given to schools to allow for investment in supplies, amounting to an average of £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school.
UK high streets
A total of £675 million will also be used to help rejuvenate high streets and improve their transport links.
A new 26-30 railcard is to be made available by the end of the year, helping to cut annual rail travel costs significantly for young people.
An extra £500 million will be used for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, allowing an additional 650,000 to be built.
In an effort to support working people, the National Living Wage is to be increased from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour from April next year.
A total of £60 million was pledged towards planting more trees, as part of an effort to help preserve the country’s green spaces.
A cash injection of £10 million will be given for new trees in streets and urban areas, to be matched by funding contributions from local authorities, community groups and charities.
This is on top of up to £50 million which will be available to purchase carbon credits from landowners who plant qualifying woodland, providing for an estimated 10 million new trees over the next 30 years.
This comes following the launch of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan at the start of the year.
Lower wedding costs
A review of wedding venues in England and Wales will look at lifting restrictions on outdoor locations, such as gardens and beaches, meaning the average cost of weddings could be cut significantly.
The move follows the law already established in Scotland, allowing couples more freedom in where they can tie the knot.