Clearview National April 2017 - Issue 185 - Page 114

BUSINESSNEWS Spring Statement Review A round up of the things that may affect you following the speech given by The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, to parliament this Spring Statement... » » AS THE COUNTRY prepares for Brexit, the Chancellor acknowledged in his speech that “too many families are feeling the squeeze.” He said inflation would reach 2.4% in 2017 – higher than the Bank of England’s long-term target of 2% – before falling back to 2.3% in 2018 and 2% in 2019. He expects wage rises to outstrip inflation during this period, although many households who rely on savings interest and benefits will be anxious about the impact of rising prices on their family finances. CHANGES TO TAX As previously announced, the income tax personal allowance will rise to £11,500 in April, with the higher rate threshold rising to £45,000. The personal allowance is scheduled to rise to £12,500, and the higher rate threshold to £50,000, by the end of this parliament in 2020. It was announced that there would be a tax increase for the self-employed. National Insurance Contributions – simply another type of tax we all pay – will increase for self-employed individuals from April next year said the Chancellor. It was said that this would happen when Class 2 NICs are abolished in 2018 and Class 4 NICs increase from 9% to 10%. They will rise to 11% in 2019. However, this proposal was overturned by the Prime Minister less than a week later. Furthermore, in a bid to ‘enhance the fairness of the system’, Hammond has called for further push to penalise professionals who avoid tax. SHAREHOLDERS Director shareholders will see a tax break reduced on the dividends they receive. Tax free dividend allowance will be reduced from £5000 to £2000 from April 2018. Affecting those who own a small business and people with large portfolios of shares. EDUCATION AND CAREERS The Chancellor said that perhaps the most important thing government can do is to invest in the future. Invest so our children and grandchildren can make the most of the opportunities which present themselves. He said this begins by addressing the skills gap. Giving every child the opportunity to go to a good school regardless of background. This will be done by investing in education and skills, which in turn will help close our productivity gap and deliver greater prosperity. This holds the key to inclusive growth, which will see an economy that works for everyone said the Chancellor. Due to the prevalent skills gap the Chancellor discussed the fear for the next generation, posing the key question, will our children enjoy the same opportunities we did? He went on the ensure this doubt ends with the introduction of T-Levels – technical qualifications, an alternative to A-levels – for 16- to 19-year- olds. T- levels will see a clearer system qualifications devoted to supporting our young adults into quality jobs, helping them 114 » APR 2017 » CL EARVI E W- UK . C O M gain world- class skills. One that replaces the 13,000 or so, different qualifications, with just 15 clear, career-focused routes. Hammond said, once this programme is fully rolled out, we will be investing an additional £500m a year in our 16-19 year olds. Increasing by over 50% the number of hours training for 16-19-year-old technical students, including a high-quality 3-month work placement for every student, so when they qualify, they are genuinely “work-ready”. DRIVING As of April 2017, Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates for cars, vans and motorcycles registered before April 2017 will increase by the Retail Prices Index (RPI). Road User Levy rates and Heavy Goods Vehicle VED rates will be frozen from April 2017. The government is looking to work with the industry to update the levy, so hauliers that plan their routes efficiently will be rewarded. This is with the aim of improving air quality and efficient use of the UK’s roads. The government will continue to invest to support the development of driverless cars, which should improve road safety and bring down car insurance premiums over the course of the next decade. NATIONAL LIVING WAGE The National Living Wage for working people over the age of 25 will go up from £7.20 an hour to £7.50 an hour in April 2017. This means an extra £500 a year for someone working full time. INFRASTRUCTURE An investment of £200m will be made to improve fibre optic broadband in rural areas alongside a £16m investment in 5G technology. Work will be undertaken to relieve what the Chancellor called ‘pinch points’ in the national road network, with £220m earmarked to help people to commute with ease between towns and cities and to alleviate urban congestion. ‘Hammond has called for further push to penalise professionals who avoid tax’ SMOKING Bad news for the smokers out there, here’s what the Chancellor has issued. • New minimum excise duty is being introduced o Y\]\\][BX\\ؘX˂(HHXو Y\]\[ \[ܙB(H Yܘ[HXو[YؘX[ [ܙ