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BUDGET 2018 digested: 10 things you need to know

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his final Budget before Britain leaves the EU. Here are 10 top takeaways:

You will be able to earn more before you owe any tax

The amount you can earn before having to pay any income tax – also known as the personal allowance – will go up from April 2019 to £12,500 from £11,850.

The Conservative government had pledged to raise the personal allowance to £12,500 by 2020 so this is one year earlier than promised.

The point at which you pay the higher rate of income tax will also increase from £46,350 to £50,000 in 2019 – a year earlier than planned.

The National Living Wage is going up from April 2019

The NLW is the statutory minimum for workers aged 25 and over. It is increasing from £7.83 an hour to £8.21 from next April. The move will benefit around 2.4 million workers and is a £690 annual pay rise for a full-time worker.

Fuel duty is being frozen, but wine and cigarettes will cost more

Theresa May announced that fuel duty will be frozen for the ninth year in a row at the Tory conference earlier this month and this was confirmed today by the chancellor.

Duty levied on spirits, beers and most ciders will also be frozen in 2019, but duty on most wine and higher strength sparkling cider will rise by RPI inflation from 1 February 2019.

Tobacco duty will also go up by inflation plus two percentage points adding 28p to the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes as of 6pm tonight.

Anyone will be able to buy premium bonds, not just parents and grandparents

From next year, aunts, uncles, godparents and family friends will be able to buy hugely popular Premium Bonds for kids under the age of 16 – not just parents and grandparents.

The minimum investment is also being cut from £100 to £25.

Stamp duty relief extended to shared ownership first-time buyers

First-time buyers who purchase a property valued up to £500,000 through the shared ownership scheme will not have to pay stamp duty. This will come in with immediate effect and the change will be backdated to 22 November 2017. It applies to properties bought in England and Northern Ireland.

The Junior ISA limit is going up by £100

The annual subscription limit for Junior ISAs for 2019/20 is going up to £4,368 from £4,260.

A new railcard for young people will be available by the end of the year

The first digital only railcard will offer up to a third off most rail travel to around 4.4 million 26 to 30-year olds in England, Scotland and Wales when it is introduced by the end of 2018.

Getting married could become cheaper

In a shake-up of some pretty archaic rules, more pubs, restaurants and venues should be able to hold weddings. Under current rules you can only get married in a permanent structure, with a roof. Food and drink can also not be sold, bought or consumed in the wedding area an hour before or after the ceremony takes place.

The government has asked the Law Commission to propose options for a simpler and fairer system to give modern couples meaningful choice. This will include looking at reducing unnecessary red tape and lowering the cost of wedding venues for couples.

There’s more money for schools, but even more for potholes

The government has committed £400m extra for schools this year to spend on equipment and facilities. This will be £10,000 for the average primary school and £50,000 for the average secondary school.

It has also allocated £420m to local authorities in 2018/19 to tackle potholes, repair damaged roads, and invest in keeping bridges open and safe.

You’ll be able to get your hands on a Brexit 50p

The Royal Mint will create a new commemorative Brexit coin to mark the UK’s exit from the European Union. It will be available from Spring 2019.