Philip Hammond is one of those politicians that is just skilful in making a tedious subject all the more so. When your break finally arrives, in the middle of your third 12-hour shift of the week, you’re more likely to be navigating a coffee, cigarette and sandwich towards your mouth as quickly and strategically as possible. No time for this Budget 2017 mumbo-jumbo! Higher tax means more drinking, I say!
But what exactly is the Budget?
Well, up until next year it used to be a biannual event occupied with chortling politicians who decide that for a change they will go into parliament, by sceptical newspapers slamming their opposing party [inset biased outlets here] and The Sun journalists’ fingers bleeding over the Mac Pro’s they have used endlessly for hilarious Budget photoshopping opportunities. The Budget is presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (previously the guy you might recognise from a moneysupermarket.com advert, now Philip Hammond) who is in charge of the country’s ‘money’. The Treasury is a department of middle-aged women and men (yes, they allow women to have a say) who are in control of finance and taxation in the government. So the Chancellor, with the aid of the Treasury, decide how the government is going to spend the country’s money. For the past six/ seven years, the main aim of the Budget has been to ‘not’ spend money via the oh-so-loveable George Osborne. So in case you hadn’t noticed, that hike in your rent and your travel expenses has been thanks to these guys. But quit your complaining, because the minimum wage was raised in the last Spring Budget, remember, from £6.70 to £7.20. Only for 25’s and overs though, obviously.
But what about me?
But how is the budget affecting bar and waiting staff? Sure, we find out how the middle-class couple with their newborn are going to do (thanks, The Guardian) and how the retired expats with two villas’ in The Cayman Islands and an empty home in Richmond will be in 2017 (cheers, The Telegraph), but what about those already at the bottom of the barrel. What with zero-hour contracts, minimum wage and Mike Ashley things are hardly looking bright. Read below to find out what matters to you in this year’s budget.
You’re getting paid more
Finally, you can afford that backpacking holiday across Thailand…oh, wait, maybe not. But you can now move up to the craft beer section of Wetherspoons drinks.
By April 2017 minimum wage will rise to:
Under 18 £4.05
No nasty Netflix and chill repercussions
Finally, the government have got your backs! Hammond claims that they will investigate ways to protect consumers from unnecessary charges which include preventing unexpected charges when subscriptions automatically renew or a free trial ends. Terms and conditions will also be clearer, like when you sign up to Facebook, so now you no longer have to feel guilty about only last five sentences through the T’s and C’s. Okay, okay, two sentences.
Alcohol is getting more expensive!
Due to inflation rises which is forecast to rise from 2.3 per cent to 2.4 per cent in 2017/18 (the weakening of the pound which means that everything is getting all the more expensive) from Monday a pint of beer will cost 2p more, 1p for a pint of cider, 10p per bottle of wine, 32p for a bottle of gin and a bottle of whisky will go up by 36p. Choose your tipple wisely, friends.
Your morning Red Bull and Snickers is going to cost you a whole lot more
As George Osborne announced last year, the sugar tax will indeed go ahead. The tax will be 18p per litre on drinks containing between five and eight grammes of sugar per 100ml and rise to 24p per litre for drinks containing more than eight grammes per 100ml. This begins in April next year.
But it isn’t all bad, Lucozade and Irn Bru will still be cheap and delicious!
Luckily those sneaky buggers at Lucozade and Irn Bru have already reformulated to escape the new tax. Tesco has also decided to strip excess sugar out of their fizzy drinks.
Your journey to work is going to get a whole lot better
The government are trying to Improve transport with the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), which basically means a whole lot of money is being invested into improved roads, decreased congestion and investments outside of London. Sure, if you live in London, TfL and Southern Rail will continue to strike, but at least everyone else is happy!
You can watch cats on Youtube in HD anywhere you want!
The government is investing £16 million to trial new 5G technology and £200 million for local broadband projects. Unless you’re with 3mobile.
Your boss might get a discount
Been working up to asking for a bonus? Well from April 2017, pubs with a rateable value up to £100,000 will be able to claim £1,000 business rates discount for one year. Hold your horses though, as this is subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties- so good news for all you independent pub buffs and booo for all you chain workers (depending on how nice your boss is, you may be happy either way.)
That £9 an hour National living wage? Yeah, that was a lie
George Osborne’s previously forecast £9ph by 2020 national living wage has now been knocked down to between £8.80 to £8.75 per hour in 2020.
If you work for an independent, wave goodbye to a pay rise
National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed will rise from 9 to 11 per cent.
£500 more in tax-free income
The personal allowance will rise to £11,500 in April.
You had better start bunking up fast
Average house prices are set to increase at an average rate of 4.8 per cent per year.
There will be a tax-free childcare scheme for working families with children under 12, providing up to £2,000 a year for each child. From September 2017, the free childcare offer will double, from 15 to 30 hours a week for working families with three and four-year-olds in England, worth up to £5,000 in total.
If you, just like many, flicked to the end then why not check out the BBC calculator?