Home news Budget 2017 cuts stamp duty for first time buyers

Budget 2017 cuts stamp duty for first time buyers


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Chancellor Philip Hammond has abolished stamp duty for most first-time buyers in England and Wales in his Budget.The change, effective immediately, will apply to the first £300,000 of a home’s value, saving first-time buyers £5,000.Mr Hammond also promised £1.5bn to “address concerns” about the flagship universal credit scheme, and unveiled lower growth forecasts.Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the government had a “record of failure with a forecast of more to come”.Mr Hammond’s statement came with him under pressure from Eurosceptic Tory MPs and others calling for more spending to ease austerity.Other key pledges included:Freezing alcohol duty apart from an increase in duty on high-strength white ciders
A promise to fund a pay rise for nurses if one is recommended by an independent panel
Refunds on VAT for Scottish emergency services
£28m for Kensington and Chelsea council for counselling and regeneration in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire
Spending £28m on homelessness projects in Manchester, West Midlands and Liverpool and aiming to eliminate rough sleeping by 2027
Extra cash to boost the numbers of students taking maths after the age of 16 – “more maths for everyone”, he joked
Support for electric cars including a £400m charging infrastructure fund
£300m to connect HS2 with rail improvements in the North of England
A new railcard offering discounts to those aged between 26 and 30
Mr Hammond – who has been accused by Eurosceptic MPs of being too pessimistic about life outside the EU – said £3bn would be spent on Brexit planning, and that the government would prepare for “every possible outcome”.The government will also spend an extra £2.8bn on the NHS in England up to 2022.The key housing announcements

Housing had been billed as one of the key themes of the Budget – and the chancellor promised the “next generation” that getting on the housing ladder would not be just a “dream”.Promising the government would deliver 300,000 new homes a year, he pledged £44bn capital investment and measures aimed at getting building projects started.And towards the end of his speech he made the pledge on stamp duty, which is paid by people buying properties over a certain value.Rates vary across the UK – in England, Wales and Northern Ireland it kicks in at £125,000 – and in Scotland, which has its own devolved tax – at £145,000.Mr Hammond said his change would benefit 95% of first-time buyers.What were the universal credit changes?Another high-profile announcement was on universal credit, which is the government’s major reform to the way benefits are paid and is currently being rolled out across the UK.Campaigners and MPs in all parties have been calling for changes to the way it is managed.The £1.5bn will remove a mandatory seven-day wait after someone submits a claim, taking the overall wait down from six weeks to five.Mr Hammond also said it would become easier for claimants to receive an advance.The economic picture

Opening his statement, the chancellor said the UK economy “continues to confound those who talk it down” and updated MPs on the latest figures.But he unveiled lower growth forecasts and said that UK productivity remains “stubbornly flat”.The Office for Budget Responsibility’s prediction of 1.5% growth for 2017 is lower than the 2% forecast in March’s Budget. But it predicts borrowing to be lower than it did in March, at £49.9bn.A lighter moment
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