We’ve crunched the figures to bring busy mums the edited highlights of the Budget and how you’ll be affected.
1. Maybe not for you but for your offspring: with immediate effect stamp duty has been abolished for first-time buyers buying properties for £300,000 or less – and the first £300,000 of properties costing up to £500,000 in London and “other expensive areas”. There were also promises on building more new homes and other moves.
2. Tax. Not much said (the Chancellor probably couldn’t afford serious tax gifts), but the personal allowance goes up to £11,850 from April and the Higher rate allowance to £46,350.
3. Travel. Lots of little gimmicks. There’s the (much heralded) railcard for the 26-30 age group. Then there was the non-announcement of freezing air passenger duty for all short haul and long haul economy flights. But if you are super-minted and flying premium class or in a private jet, you’ll pay more.
4. There’s going to be £1.5 billion spent to ‘address concerns’ about Universal Credit. And the National Living Wage will go up by 4.4% from April from £7.50 an hour to £7.83.
5. Cars: Fuel duty rise on petrol and diesel planned from April has been scrapped. But if you’ve got a diesel car which doesn’t meet the latest standards you’ll pay more vehicle excise duty from April.
6. Sins: Cigarettes to go up by 2% above inflation (so 5% at current rate). Duty on hand-rolling tobacco (classy) to go up too. Duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders frozen (excellent news) but there will be an increase (though not until legislation is brought in) on duty on white cider (extra classy).
7. For mumpreneurs: VAT threshold for small businesses to stay at £85,000 for two years.
8. Schools and sixth form colleges will get £600 for each pupil taking maths A levels. Is that enough to incentivise teenagers to change from psychology or textiles to something useful?
9. So that’s it: nothing on childcare, nothing on incentivising saving nor on pensions (but at least he left them alone). All a bit of a damp squid, as Mrs Malaprop might say.