Most expectations are that this will be a reserved budget from Chancellor Phillip Hammond, in what could be the last important Spring Budget for a while. This is because Hammond has decided to move all major announcements to the Autumn Budget schedule, but there will still be a number of big announcements in this budget. Here is what to expect from the Spring Budget of 2017.
A boost for education
Funding for grammar schools will be introduced to create more than 70,000 new school places. There has been a promise of £320m being spent on 140 schools, which will be run by local communities. There is also expected to be money set aside, perhaps to the value of £216m, for rebuilding and refurbishing schools.
With respect to the property market, the availability of good schools impacts on demand for local areas. If there are more attractive free schools on offer, there may be a fall in demand for property in areas that are currently in great demand, which could see a spreading out of demand for property.
Broadband boost for rural areas
One issue that may have an impact on the property market in certain areas is the proposed support that will boost broadband connectivity in rural parts of the country. This will primarily be aimed at helping small businesses but anything that improves broadband connectivity in areas will make homes more attractive. There is also the fact that anything which improves business in a local area can have a positive impact on the property market.
The Telegraph has reported that the support will come in the shape of £3,000 worth of vouchers which will be presented to small businesses to spend on broadband connectivity.
Changes to stamp duty
There are many people in the property market, particularly in the lettings sector, who are still reeling from stamp duty changes introduced in April 2016. This saw people buying an additional property having to pay an additional 3% stamp duty on purchases over £40,000.
However, the last major change with respect to stamp duty came back in 2014; and this had an initial impact on people buying expensive property in London. However, due to the rising nature of property prices, more first time buyers are being hit by stamp duty charges.
This has led to some industry experts call for changes to be made to the minimum level of stamp duty and for the 12% rate to be lowered or the £1.5m mark to be altered. There is no clear indicator that these changes will come into effect but they are on the list of probably changes that may be announced.
Support for businesses and people
There is supposedly going to be a £500m boost to help youngsters get into skilled jobs. This money will go towards supporting non-academic training for youngsters over the age of 16. This step is being taken to hopefully create a better platform for businesses to access skilled workers.
There is also a thought that the Government may try to balance out the hike in business rates by offering additional support to some firms. With the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid saying that a range of support methods will be introduced in the Budget, there is likely to be some respite for businesses but at the moment, no one is sure what form this support will take.
There is also expected to be more than £1bn put forward to support social care; which has come under considerable pressure due to a range of cuts at local government level.
Issues that will impact on peoples spending and ability to save
Some of the issues that will impact how much people have in their pocket or bank account each month include:
• The creation of a pricing floor for cigarettes
• Self-employed people being asked to pay more tax, with perhaps a 3p rise on NI
• It is tipped that the price of beer and fuel will be frozen
There will clearly be winners and losers in the Spring Budget of 2017 but hopefully there will be enough support to ensure that people, and the property market, won’t suffer too much due to these changes.