The UK Spring budget was announced yesterday and now that the BBC and various other journos have posted their summaries I thought I’d add my own notes and thoughts for anyone who has a similar life style to me and might be interested:
this BBC page has a decent summary : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39203784
The changes to taxes for the self employed seem like theyve been comming for a while. The government were hinting at it 5+ years ago when I was a self employed contractor but now might be the first time they feel capable of enacting the tax rises without losing too many votes.
A little discount for small businesses, however the numbers being thrown about here are tiny, 100’s of millions is a lot of money, however it starts to seem smaller when you divide it across all the SMEs in the country.
The state of the economy
Good numbers about the economy, showing faster growth than expected. A lot of the neigh-sayers regarding Brexit might be starting to think that the UK leaving the EU and taking back control is a good thing. Its worth noting that Brexing hasnt actually happened yet and anything can happen once it goes live.
A massive £16.4 Billion less in borrowing than forecast. I don’t think this number is getting enough attention. One of the main campaign aims of the Tories back in 2014 was to reduce the deficit. Its taken them a few years to get started but it looks like its finally working. I’m hoping this number can stay down.
Alcohol, tobacco, gambling and fuel
These seem guaranteed to rise every budget. Its hard to complain about a £4 pint going up 2p though when its a luxury that not everyone gets to enjoy. Its interesting why “gambling” is included in this header on the BBC page when nothing is mentioned about it. Gambling in the UK is tax free for the punters so any change would be massive.
Pensions and savings
Lowering the tax-free dividend allowance from £5k to £2k says it might affect small investors, however most small investors have the option to do all of their investing through a shares ISA which is fully tax free so unless they don”t know about the ISA option I doubt many of them are going to pay any extra tax.
Education (England only)
The Biggest problem with education changes is that the effects they have are very hard to measure until much further down the line. The changes announced today might not be visible for 10+ years and by then a new government could be in power and doing what they think is best for schools.
Health and social care
The tax on soft drinks has been in the works for a while. Credit to anyone who can dig out when it was first suggested in the UK?
This seems like more of a political category so that the Tories can argue they are doing something to help address gender imbalances in the country. The numbers being shown here are tiny though.
Its better than nothing and I’m sure the people who get any help as a result of this funding will be very grateful but the amounts seem like loose change that was thrown onto the budget to round it up to a nice tidy number.