Phew, what a long speech. Once we get past the posturing and the politicking, what are we left with? Massive Government spending (aka fiscal stimulus).
This is what I’ve managed to glean so far …
- National Living Wage increasing by 4.9%, from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour, from April 2019.
2. A new Remit for the independent Low Pay Commission. They now have a formal target that, as long as economic conditions allow, by 2024 the National Living Wage will reach two-thirds of median earnings. On current forecasts, that means a living wage of over £10.50 an hour.
3. The National Insurance threshold from £8,632 to £9,500 in April.
4. Abolition of the tampon tax. From January next year, there will be no VAT whatsoever on women’s sanitary products.
5. £1m of support for promoting Scottish food and drink overseas and £10m of new R&D funding to help distilleries go green.
6. This year the planned increase in spirits duty will be cancelled.
7. Pubs are at the centre of community life. For this year, the business rates discount for pubs will not be £1,000 – it will be £5,000.
8. The planned rise in beer duty will also be cancelled.
9. Freezing duties for cider and wine drinkers as well.
10. For another year fuel duty will remain frozen.
11. £130m of new funding to extend Start-up Loans
12. Investing £1.4bn in world-leading science institute at Weybridge, where they’re working to analyse samples of Coronavirus.
13. Investing over £900m in nuclear fusion, space and electric vehicles.
14. Electricity is now a cleaner energy form than gas – but our Climate Change Levy, paid by companies, taxes electricity at a higher rate. From April 2022, freezing the levy on electricity and raising it on gas.
15. To tackle the scourge of plastic waste, a new Plastics Packaging Tax, but not yet. From April 2022, manufacturers and importers charged £200 / tonne on packaging made of less than 30% recycled plastic.
16. Making £120m available immediately to repair defences damaged in the winter floods.
17. Over the next five years, to plant around 30,000 hectares of trees – that’s a forest larger than Birmingham – and restore 35,000 hectares of peatland.
18. New investment in local roads, alongside a new £2.5bn pothole fund – that’s £500m every single year; enough to fill, by the end of the Parliament, 50 million potholes.
19. From 1st Dec, just in time for Christmas, books, newspapers, magazines or academic journals, however they are read, will have no VAT charge whatsoever.
20. Intends to impose a “digital sales tax”, a 2% levy on the UK revenues of search engines, social media services and online marketplaces, from 1 April.
21. Coronavirus. Statutory sick pay will be available to individuals self-isolating. Sick notes will be available by contacting NHS 111.
22. He will also abolish business rates altogether for this year for retailers, in a tax cut worth more than £1bn.
23. Any company eligible for small business rates relief will be allowed a £3,000 cash grant – a £2bn injection for 700,000 small businesses.
24. Abolish tax relief for red diesel for most sectors, which he says is a £2.4bn tax break for pollution. The change will take place in two years. Agriculture, rail, fishing and domestic heating will be exempt.
25. £5bn of funding will be invested in gigabit-capable broadband.
26. Almost £650m of funding will be made available to help rough sleepers into accommodation.
27. NHS surcharge for people from overseas will increase to £624.
28. The personal allowance threshold, the rate at which people start paying income tax at 20%, to rise from £11,850 to £12,500 in April – a year earlier than planned.
29. The higher rate income tax threshold, the point at which people start paying tax at 40%, to rise from £46,350 to £50,000 in April.
30. Tobacco duty will continue to rise by inflation plus 2%. A packet of 20 cigarettes will go up by 33p at 18.00 GMT.
31. Remote Gaming Duty to increase to 21% for online gambling on “games of chance” from 2019.
32. Upgrades to A38 at Trerulefoot Roundabout and the A39 Atlantic Highway.
Obviously, there is more, but I’ve run out of steam …
Share your thoughts.