It’s the Government’s second economic statement of the year – the Autumn Statement.
If you didn’t have time to listen to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, tell us what the Government’s spending plans are, here is a summary of the main points:
- The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage will increase by April 2017 – It will rise from £7.20 to £7.50. The National Living Wage Foundation said: “The reality is that a fifth of UK workers aren’t paid enough to live on. There’s still a gap between the government minimum and our real Living Wage of £8.45 in the UK and £9.75 in London which is based on what family’s need to earn to meet everyday costs.”
- Fuel duty will remain frozen – This has been the same for seven years. The Government predicts that this saves drivers £130 a year on average. This doesn’t mean the price of diesel won’t change, just that the amount of tax will remain the same. An RAC spokesperson said: “The Chancellor’s commitment to freeze fuel duty will be greeted with relief by motorists and businesses at a time when we know drivers are concerned that fuel prices will rise significantly over the next six months.”
- £1 billion investment into mobile communications- funding will help roll out full-fibre broadband and support trials for 5G networks. This move has received support from companies like Vodafone who said they “welcome the Government’s move”.
- Tackling pension scams – They plan to have a consultation before Christmas to look at ways to stop scammers cold calling people about pensions. However, Age UK are disappointed that there was no mention of additional funding for social care for the elderly. They said: “The Government’s failure to provide any respite for our beleaguered social care system in the Autumn Statement spells deepening misery for many older people.”
- £2.3 billion investment for the Housing Infrastructure Fund- Projects will be funded to support the construction of up to 100,000 new homes, as well as creating more affordable housing. The National Housing Federation said: “The Government is absolutely right to see housing infrastructure as critical to improving the nation’s productivity.”
- £390 million investment in future transport technology- This includes driverless cars, renewable fuels and energy efficient transport. The Renewable Energy Association are happy with the announcement, but want the Chancellor to consider the bigger picture: “We urge him to remember that the development of these transport technologies are not emerging on their own but are part-and-parcel of a wider shift to a higher-tech, lower-carbon world.”
To read the Government’s full summary click here or watch the Chancellor’s speech below: