Philip Hammond’s first and last Spring Budget may be remembered mostly for what it didn’t say rather than what it did. It could be that he is leaving the real work for the new Autumn Budget, but a cautious approach with Brexit looming was always likely to be on the cards.
The property sector had been hoping for some softening of the Stamp Duty Land Tax regime which used to be a relatively minor inconvenience, but has now become a major factor in any land transaction and is currently helping to stagnate the property market. We will now have to wait until Autumn to see if this issue is addressed.
There had been a lot of pre-Budget talk about levelling the playing field between different types of employment structure. The modest increase in self-employed National Insurance Contribution has generated some press headlines this morning, but has completely failed to address the real inequality which is the 13.8% Employers National Insurance Contribution.
Decreasing the dividend nil band from £5,000 to £2,000 is another playing field leveller aimed at small business incorporations. This will increase the tax cost for many individuals taking dividends from their personal companies by £81.25 per month.
Other headlines include a relaxation of Research and Development incentive rules, a review of the taxation of employment related benefits and the promise of 35 new measures aimed at tackling tax avoidance.
For more information on the above download our 2017 Spring Statement Summary PDF.