08 Mar 2017

Budget 2017: New Chapter for UK

The new UK budget will mark the beginning of the “new chapter” for the country in the last days as a member of EU and set the path for the future, according to Chancellor Philip Hammond, who early this morning presented some of the crucial points in the Government financial plan.

Health and social care will be the two areas the Budget will be focused on. It is said, that in the draft of the budget are set £320 million are set to be spread among 140 free schools run by local authorities around the country. That money will mainly be used for creating 72.000 places for students and teachers. Additionally, there will be another £500 million to fund science, innovations and discoveries. A significant part of these funds will be set aside towards technology, robotics and development of artificial intelligence.

The other “hot potato” in the Budget plan is social care. With a constantly increasing population (according to ONS UK it will reach 70 million in less than a decade), the country’s social welfare is in need of reforms and changes. A significant sum between £1.3 and £1.9 million will be available to communities and local government committees to face the predicted fund shortages.

Of course, the proposal contains some unpopular moves as well. Self-employed people will most likely have to pay an extra 3p on National Insurance, which is between 9% -12% depending on the working field and for some people, it could cost an additional £1,000 a year. Also, for the pensioners is expected a new limit on so-called Money Purchase Annual Allowance – from £10,000 a year to £4,000. Still, the most commented topic within the last few weeks, were the new business rates which will be effective from April. They set some hot debates between politicians and representatives of SMEs, who believe that the new rates will force nearly 20% of small and medium businesses across the country to stop work. Plus, the rates will affect the property market, increasing the prices in the South and London area and dropping the values of the ones in North.

The Chancellor has delivered his budget discussion speech in the early hours of International Women’s Day and he used the opportunity to announce that £5 million will be set into a program to assist mothers returning to work after maternity career break. Another £20 million will go to boost the activity of domestic violence organisations, which Theresa May already has named as a “key priority” and is of “personal importance” to her.

More about the budget will be announced later today after its official presentations in the House of Commons.