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What you need to know about the budget

This week the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, set out the government’s Budget for the next year. With lots of information in that little red briefcase of his, here’s a handy guide to what you need to know, what it’s going to mean for your money and how he’s planning to get the economy going again post pandemic.

Skills to pay the bills

There’s already a lot being said about the skills shortage and this Budget looks at how to tackle that and make sure that people can keep learning new ones no matter what their age is. Spending on skills is going up by £3.8bn over this parliament and that means expanding T-levels, which cover a lot of construction skills, along with upgrading the options for further education, more places on skills bootcamps and more funding for apprenticeships.

Brick by brick

Tackling the housing crisis is high on the agenda for this government, and they want to help you get building. Almost £24bn is going to be earmarked for housing and around half of that is being allocated to 180,000 new affordable homes. They’ve also got their sights set on brownfield land for new homes and those homes need to be green. So now’s the time to make sure you’re up to date with everything you need to know about Making Better Homes.

There could also be more work in the pipeline for you if you’re helping a business to expand – think extra rooms for a hotel or an extension for a restaurant. That’s because those businesses that decide to invest in improvements or renovations now aren’t going to have to pay additional business rates immediately.

The heart of the community

The Chancellor talked about how the government wants to “restore the pride people feel in the places they call home.” So when it comes to your local community there’s going to be more money to build youth clubs and money for 8,000 state-of-the-art community football pitches across the country. And all that development is going to need skilled trades!

The money in your pocket

Finally, what about the cash in your pocket? Well, if you’re paid the National Living Wage – the good news is that’s going up. If you’re 23 or above it’s an increase from £8.91 per hour to £9.50. The minimum wage for younger workers is also going up, alongside the apprentice rate.

The government also wants to look at reducing taxes during this parliament. We already knew that the threshold for paying income tax was frozen from April 2021 for 5 years. Now that’s not great news if you get a pay rise that pushes you into a higher tax band! In September the government also announced that employees, employers and people who are self-employed will pay 1.25p more in the pound for National Insurance from April 2022 to pay for social care.

One of your biggest expenses is probably fuel for your van or car, and there’s some positive news there with a fuel duty freeze for a least another year.

And if you enjoy a drink there’s more good news. The way alcohol is taxed is getting an overhaul. It’ll mean the stronger stuff is more expensive but your average pint will now have a lower duty!