Chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his 2018 Budget, the last before Brexit. Here’s a round-up of the relevant key points most relevant to the public sector:
- £650m funding for social care to be made available to local authorities next year.
- £45m over five years to expand children’s social care programmes to 20 further councils with high or rising numbers of children in care.
- Additional £1bn announced to bolster defence over the next two years, including cyber security defences.
- £30bn to improve roads, including £420m to be made available immediately to local highway authorities to tackle potholes and other minor repairs.
- An additional £500m set aside to prepare for a no-deal Brexit – money to be made available to government departments
- £400m in-year bonus for schools this year – Chancellor says this will average £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school.
- £950m more funding for the Scottish Government and £550m for the Welsh Government, as well as £320m for the Northern Ireland Executive and £350m for the Belfast City Region Deal.
- Transforming Cities Fund increased to £2.4bn and £90m more allocated to trial smart transport models, including on-demand buses.
- Hammond says the government will provide a further £500m for its housing infrastructure fund, which will unlock 650,000 homes. The fund now stands at £5.5bn.
- Social care green paper promised to outline ways to deliver and optimise social care.
- Government abolishes use of Private Finance Initiative as there is no compelling evidence that it delivers value for taxpayers or transfers risk to the private sector.
- A full spending review will be conducted in 2019 to balance spending and consumption of public services.
- Commitment to technology continued – £1.6bn of new investment to support modern industrial strategy, including funding for fellowship to attract brightest talents to research in the UK. Full details will be revealed in the Budget Red Book which is available here.
- Chancellor announces support for the British High Street, including a £675m Future High Streets Fund that councils can access to redevelop their high streets and a new mandatory business rates relief for public lavatories and 1/3 off business rates for small retailers. The chancellor says for the next two years up to a business rates valuation, for all companies with rateable value of £51,000 or less, the government will cut their business rates bill by one third. A saving for 90% of shops, restaurants and cafes.
Taxation & living wage:
- Fuel duty frozen once again (as previously announced).
- New UK digital services tax announced on revenues of tech giants from 2020. Firms will be taxed 2% on the money they make from UK users. The chancellor said the tax will be “narrowly targeted” on UK generated revenues of specific firms, rather than UK tech startups.
- From April the National Living Wage will rise again, by 4.9%, from £7.83 to £8.21.
A full review of the budget, including opinions, will appear on GovTech Leaders shortly.