Autumn Budget 2017

He confirmed that the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) will increase to £1,030,000 in the tax year 2018/19 tax year. The LTA is a limit on the value of payouts from your pension schemes that can be made without triggering an extra tax charge (which currently stands at £1 million).

Aside from the increase in the LTA, there were no other major announcements affecting pensions.

Here is a summary of the key points:

  • The Personal Allowance will increase from £11,500 to £11,850 in the 2018/19 tax year.
  • The Higher Rate Threshold will also increase from £45,000 to £46,350.
  • From April, the National Living Wage will rise 4.4% from £7.50 an hour to £7.83.
  • The National Minimum Wage will increase:
    - 21 to 24 year olds: £7.38 an hour
    - 18 to 21 year olds: £5.90 an hour
    - 16 and 17 year olds: £4.20 an hour
    - Apprentices: £3.70 an hour
  • Stamp duty has been abolished for first-time buyers on homes up to £300,000 and on the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000. If the property is valued at more than £500,000, the buyer won't qualify for the stamp duty exemption even if it is their first property purchase. This change does not apply in Scotland.
  • The Chancellor pledged a £1.5bn package to 'address concerns' about the delivery of Universal Credit (which replaces six other benefits with a single monthly payment for people out of work or on a low income). He said that the initial seven-day waiting period for processing of claims would be scrapped. From January 2018, claimants will be able to access a month's worth of support within five days, via an interest-free advance which can be repaid over 12 months. Housing Benefit will continue to be paid for two weeks after a Universal Credit claim.
  • Mr Hammond pledged £44bn in government support to boost construction to meet the target of building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. He also said that councils will be able to levy a 100% council tax premium on empty properties.
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