The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has delivered his second Budget and was more generous this time, with the main headlines being:

Pension savings

  • Pensions have become the go to area where revenue is required, however this time they were untouched with the only change being a positive, albeit expected one. The Lifetime Allowance, which limits the amount of allowable pension savings, without additional tax charges, will increase to £1,030,000 from April 2018.
  • With State Pensions being protected by the triple lock, the full basic State Pension will increase by £3.65 per week from April 2018, with the full new State Pension increasing by 4.80 per week.


  • The Individual Savings Account (ISA) annual subscriptions limit is to be held at £20,000 for 2018-19.
  • The annual subscription limit for Junior ISAs and Child Trust Funds is to increase to £4,260 for 2018-19.
  • The annual allowance for people investing in “knowledge-intensive” companies through an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) will double, although the finer details are yet to be disclosed.

Personal taxation and wages

  • The Tax-free personal allowance on income tax will rise to £11,850 in April 2018.
  • The higher-rate tax threshold will to increase to £46,350.
  • National Living Wage will rise to £7.83 per hour in April 2018.
  • National Minimum Wage will also rise; with the rate for 21 to 24 year olds rising to £7.38 per hour, the rate for 18 to 20 year olds rising to £5.90 per hour, the rate for 16 to 17 year olds to £4.20 per hour and apprentices to £3.70 per hour.

Stamp duty and housing

  • Stamp duty is to be abolished immediately for first-time buyers (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) purchasing properties worth up to £300,000, with first-time buyers also benefitting from an exemption on £300,000 for purchases of properties up to £500,000. It is predicted that this will see 95% of all first-time buyers benefit from the change, with 80% paying no stamp duty.
  • £44bn in government support to boost construction with a target to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid 2020’s.
  • Council tax premium to be levied at 100% on empty properties.


  • The VAT threshold for small businesses to remain at £85,000 for the next two years, with a consultation planned in connection with future changes.
  • Inflationary rises in business rates will use CPI, rather than RPI currently, brought forward to April 2018.
  • Increases to the frequency of rate revaluations from every five years to every three years from 2022.

The economy and the public finances

  • The growth forecast for 2017 has been downgraded from 2% to 1.5%, with similar downgrades on future years, with growth forecast as being 1.4% in 2018, 1.3% in 2019 and 2020, 1.5% in 2021 and 1.6% in 2022.
  • Productivity growth and business investment also revised down.
  • Annual borrowing is due to be £49.9bn this year and due to fall every year to £25.6bn in 2022-23.
  • Debt to peak at 86.5% of GDP this year and falling every year to 79.1% in 2022-23.

Education and health (in England)

  • The establishment of a £40m teacher training fund for underperforming schools in England.
  • An additional 8,000 computer science teachers to be recruited at a cost of £84m.
  • £600 to be paid to secondary schools and sixth-form colleges for each new pupil taking maths or further maths at A-level, at an expected cost of £177m.
  • £2.8bn in extra funding for the NHS in England over the next 3 years, with £350m to be made immediately available to address pressures this winter.
  • A further £10bn capital investment in hospitals


  • £3bn over the next two years as the UK prepare for every possible outcome of leaving the EU.
  • £2bn for the Scottish government, £1.2bn for the Welsh government and £650m for the Northern Ireland executive.
  • Tobacco to rise by 2% above RPI, with the minimum excise duty on cigarettes also to rise.
  • Duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders will be frozen, although high-strength “white” ciders will have an increase.
  • The fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars due for April 2018 will be scrapped.
  • Scottish police and fire services to get refunds on VAT from April 2018.
  • £1.5bn package to help with issues surrounding the delivery of universal credit.
  • £500m to support 5G mobile networks, fibre broadband and artificial intelligence.
  • £540m to support the growth of electric cars and charging points.
  • £23bn allocated for investment in research and development.

This article is based on our interpretation of the Chancellor’s speech and on initial documentation available on the website, which cannot be guaranteed and could be subject to change.