Today the Chancellor Phillip Hammond delivered his first Budget….and his last Spring Budget. Nearly all the measures announced were those previously announced, making the Spring Budget 2017 one of the most tedious and boring and perhaps should all have been left until November. There were a few minor adjustments to policy which probably makes the statement that the government got it wrong in the first place. The change to the annual dividend exemption which is probably the most drastic change effectively admits that the original policy was badly misjudged.

The changes to National Insurance is basically a tax increase without calling it a tax increase


  • In 2017 the UK had the second fastest growing economy in G7
  • Growth in 2017 is forecast to hit 2%
  • GDP is expected to be 1.6% and reaching 2% in 2021-22
  • Inflation expected to rise to 2.4% in 2017-18 before falling to 2.0% in 2019-20
  • There is expected an additional 650,000 in employment by 2021

Public Borrowing

  • Annual borrowing in 2016-17 is expected to be £16.4bn lower than originally forecast at £51.7bn
  • In subsequent year  borrowing forecast to be £58.3bn in 2017-18, £40.6bn in 2018-19, £21.4bn in 2019-20 and 20.6bn in 2020-21
  • Net Public Sector borrowing is expected to fall from 2.6% of GDP this year to 0.7% of GDP in 2021-22. Borrowing is still expected to be £100bn higher in 2020 than was originally forecast back in March 2016
  • Debt rose to 86.6% this year but should fall to 79.8% by 2021-22

Personal Tax

  • Main rate of Class 4 NI contributions will increase from the current rate of 9% to 10% in April 2018 and 11% in April 2019 raising an extra £145m per year by 2021-22
  • There are no planed changes to income tax or other National Insurance categories
  • The personal tax free allowance threshold will rise to £11,500 from April 6th 2017 as planned and is set to rise to £12,500 by 2020



  • There will be a new minimum excise duty on cigarettes which will be based on a packet price of £7.35
  • Apart from duties already announced there will no further increases in alcohol or tobacco duties
  • The HGV road user levy and vehicle excise duty rates for hauliers will be frozen for another year

Savings and Pensions

The tax free dividend allowance for shareholders of small private limited companies will be reduced from £5,000 pa to £2,000 pa. This will come into force from April 6th 2018.


  • The government will provide £435m to assist firms affected by the increase in business rates including a £300m’hardship’ fund for those who are worst hit.
  • Public houses that have a rateable value of less than £100k will get a £1,000 rates discount
  • There will be a clamp down to stop businesses being able to convert capital losses into trading losses
  • UK VAT will be charged on roaming telecoms services outside the EU
  • The taxation of North Sea oil producers will be reviewed
  • ‘Abusive use’ of foreign pension schemes will be tackled
  • 12 month delay in MTD timescale for unincorporated businesses and Landlords with turnover > than £10k but below VAT threshold to start filing online from April 2018.

Social Care and Health Provision

  • Government will provide £100m to place more GP’s in accident and emergency depts next winter
  • There will be an extra £325m to allow the first NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans to proceed
  • An extra £2bn to be provided for social care over the next three years with £1bn to be provided in the next year
  • Government to look at long term funding options but ruled out ‘Death tax’ on estates


  • There will be a spend of £90m available in the North of England and £23m in the Midlands aimed at addressing pinch points on roads
  • £270m funds allocated to creating new technologies such as robotics, biotech and driverless cars
  • Government to provide £200m for local full fibre broadband networks, as well as offering fibre broadband vouchers for businesses,  and £16m for the provision of 5G mobile technology
  • Funding of £250m for Scotland, £200m for Wales and £120m for Northern Ireland


  • There will be £300m provided to support 1,000 new PhD places and fellowships in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
  • All children that are on free school meals and attend a selective school will be see free school tansport extended to include them
  • A £216m increased investment in schools was announced
  • The number of training hours for technical students aged between 16 and 19 will be increased by more than 50% and will include a ‘high quality’ three month work placement