Summary of Budget 2018: Key points at-a-glance
We always find the race to produce a budget summary a little dull and whatever happens life still goes on. This year we thought we would take a tongue-in-cheek look at what it might mean for you, a whole day before the announcement from Phillip Hammond.
- We’re predicting the Government will decide “Help to Buy” is helping the wrong people and decide to tinker or abolish it after spending millions developing it, another one for the dustbin. They will then go to great lengths to explain what a huge financial benefit abolishing stamp duty has been for first time buyers. Although houses, for first-time buyers, are still rather expensive with or without stamp duty.
- Stamp duty on second homes and buy-to-let properties is going to increase again, Phillip Hammond is currently sharpening the last few nails for the buy-to-let coffin. This is unlikely to have a huge impact on anyone but tenants, because deposits are still out of the reach of many first-time buyers. The costs will travel downhill.
- The price of tobacco will continue to rise above inflation. Once the revenue drops below a certain level, they will begin to tax vaping in the same way because they have a hole in the finances the size of the Avon Gorge.
- The cost of beer and red wine is likely to go up. Although as most of us view red wine as something as fundamental to our wellbeing as oxygen, the local Majestic branch doesn’t need to start panicking just yet merely because a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc has gone up by 10p.
- Company car taxes will increase for polluting vehicles and decrease for electric or hybrid cars, which I think we can all agree is good for the planet; thank goodness wine bottles can be recycled. “Drink wine, not diet coke” is a core message from our environmentally-conscious Ovation team.
- There will be a sharp cut to forecasted GDP. The Remainers will blame the Leavers and the Leavers will claim the Remainers are scare-mongering. The Tories will blame Corbyn and Labour will blame May. In fact no one knows what the outcome will be, but someone is bound to have a conspiracy theory which will make passing reference to both Elvis and JFK.
- Phillip Hammond needs to find the £20b that Theresa May promised for the NHS and there are several options open to him. The first old chestnut they’ll drag out is pension tax relief. It wouldn’t be a Budget if rumours of a reduction, or a flat rate, didn’t see the light of day. More likely he will reduce the annual allowance even further; a plan so cunning that Edmund Blackadder would be proud. The other raid could be on small businesses, by forcing them into registering for VAT at a lower threshold which could raise a small fortune. but won’t be welcomed with open arms by the millions of self-employed in the UK.
As always, if you would like any advice tomorrow on the effects of the real Budget please get in touch with us, we would be delighted to help.