Budget Update

Budget

Philip Hammond has delivered his second Budget as chancellor. Here are some of the key points of his speech that impact on the finances of those in Scotland –

Tax-free personal allowance on income tax to rise to £11,850 in April 2018. Higher-rate tax threshold to increase to £46,350.

After years of hikes, the Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance for 2018/19 is to be frozen at £20,000. The annual subscription limit for Junior ISAs and Child Trust Funds for 2018-19 will be increase in line with CPI to £4,260.

Stamp duty to be abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000 does not apply in Scotland however this will increase the pressure on the Scottish Government to re-examine its equivalent, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.

Mr Hammond gave local councils the ability to increase the council tax premium on empty homes from 50% to 100%.

The Chancellor also announced a freeze on whisky duty, which will be welcomed north of the border, and a tax break for transfers of oil and gas fields in the North Sea. The latter policy will kick in from November 2018, with the hope that it will encourage new investments in the struggling industry.

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