Budget 2017: the winners and losers

Emma Woollacott

Chancellor Philip Hammond's first full budget contains few surprises; he'd already warned that the massive cost of Brexit would mean that belts would have to stay tight. Nevertheless, while today's budget certainly isn't a giveaway, there is good news for some. We look at the winners and losers.

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Most taxpayers

Hammond confirmed that from April 6 this year the personal allowance will rise to £11,500. Meanwhile, the threshold for higher-rate tax will rise from £43,000 to £45,000.

Technical students
There's to be a £500 million boost for skills training for 16 to 19-year-olds over the next five years, in an attempt to plug the gap that will be left by EU workers. The aim is to improve the image of manual and technical careers with the introduction of new T-levels equivalent to A-levels.

Grammar schools
Before the budget, Theresa May unveiled plans for a new generation of free schools and grammar schools costing £320 million. Hammond says he's planning an extra 110 such schools, and will give free transport to children on free school meals.

Wealthy families
In his budget, Hammond confirmed an inheritance tax giveaway originally announced by George Osborne, which will be phased in by 2019-20. The floor for inheritance tax is to be increased to £500,000; and because spouses are allowed to inherit tax-free, that means couples can leave up to £1 million to their children without any inheritance tax being payable.

There was a small glimpse of positive news for savers, with details of the new savings bond from NS&I. It will be on offer from April, paying 2.2% on up to £3,000.

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From April this year, corporation tax will fall to 19%, dropping to 17% in 2020. It gives the UK a far lower tax take than any other of the world's 20 biggest economies.

And there's a certain amount of good news for smaller businesses in terms of business rates. Any business coming out of small business rate relief, says Hammond, won't see their rates increase by more than £50 a month. There will be a £1,000 discount on business rate bills for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000, and a £300 million fund will be made available to councils to allow them to provide discretional relief.

Families with young children
Previously announced plans for tax-free childcare will be introduced in April. There's also a doubling of free childcare for three and four year olds - who are now eligible for 30 hours a week. Hammond says it's worth £5,000 a year to parents.

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The self-employed
The biggest losers in today's budget are the self-employed, from whom Hammond is planning to take an extra £145 million a year. He's abolishing Class 2 NICs and - breaking a 2015 election pledge - raising Class 4 contributions by 1% in April next year and another 1% the year after. It will cost self-employed workers up to £750 a year; only those earning less than £16,250 will escape.

The tax-free dividend allowance will fall from £5,000 to £2,000 a year from April 2018. For an additional rate taxpayer fully using their dividend allowance, the changes announced today will cost them an extra £1,143 in tax in 2018/19.

Drinkers and smokers
There was no freeze in the ongoing escalation of 'sin taxes' on alcohol and cigarettes. In addition, Hammond announced minimum duty of £7.35 on a packet of cigarettes - effectively setting a floor price.

Hammond announced an extra £2 billion for social care over the next three years, in an effort to ease pressure on the NHS. However, the bulk of this is likely to be swallowed up by already-announced increases to the minimum wage. Meanwhile, while he's announced extra funds for triage within A&E departments and new 'sustainability and transformation plans', the sums involved are small.