Autumn Budget 2018: the key points for early years

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Delivering his Autumn Budget 2018 yesterday, the Chancellor announced more money for Universal Credit, children’s social care and the NHS, but nothing for the early years sector.

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The Chancellor Philip Hammond

Speaking in the House of Commons he said, ‘Universal Credit is here to stay, and we are putting in the funding to make it a success. Because we believe that work should always pay.

‘The switch to Universal Credit is a long overdue and necessary reform.’

However, he said he recognised concerns about the implementation of the programme and about the rates and allowances, announcing an increase to work allowances – the amount people can earn before they start to lose money, and more funding for the roll-out of the system.

The Chancellor also announced increases to the national living wage and the rate at which people start paying income tax.

For schools, he revealed a £400 million one-off fund to pay for ‘extras’, money which unions have called ‘a drop in the ocean’.

The following package of measures was announced:

Welfare

  • An increase to work allowances (the amount someone can earn before they start losing money) on Universal Credit to be increased by £1.7 billion.
  • 2.4 million working families and people with disabilities are set to benefit by £630 a year.
  • An extra £1 billion over five years to aid the transition to Universal Credit.

Education and health/social care

  • A one-off £400 million bonus for schools to ‘buy the little extras they need’. Primary schools will receive an average of £10,000 each and secondaries £50,000 each.
  • An extra £2 billion for mental health services – including children and young people’s crisis teams in every part of the country and a 24-hour mental health hotline.
  • A total of £650 million for social care next year. As part of this successful children’s social care programmes will be expanded to a further 20 councils with high or rising numbers of children in care.

Tax and wages

  • The personal allowance threshold, the rate at which people start paying tax, is to rise from £11,850 to £12,500 in April – a year earlier than planned. This means a basic rate tax payer will pay £1,205 less tax in 2019-20 than in 2010-11.
  • The higher rate income tax threshold to rise from £46,350 to £50,000 in April.
  • National living wage to increase from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour from April 2019.

Business 

  • Small employers will pay half of the contribution they currently make for apprenticeship training – down from 10 per cent to 5 per cent.
  • To help retailers struggling with the high fixed costs of business rates, business rates will be cut by a third over two years for shops with a rateable value of £51,000 or less, but there are no similar measures for nurseries.
  • From April, large businesses will be able to invest up to 25 per cent of their apprenticeship levy to support apprentices in their supply chain.
  • New 100 per cent mandatory business rates relief for all public lavatories.

 For more information on the packages of support announced in the Budget 2018 click here

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