The Chancellor Philip Hammond appeared to relax the purse strings in today’s budget, announcing that “austerity is coming to an end”.
Personal income tax cuts for low and upper tax rate payers were announced alongside increases in public spending across a range of public services.
On housing, the Chancellor announced incentives to boost the first time buyer market and stimulate housing construction. The changes for the development industry include:
- Removing the borrowing cap on local authority house building – £4.6bn
- Reducing business rates and supporting the high street – £1.5bn
- Supporting the Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock 65,000 homes – £500m
- Extending Help to Buy to 2023
- Removing stamp duty for first time shared ownership buyers for properties up to £500k
The Chancellor also published the final Letwin Report which recommends further planning rules on the build out of larger sites. You can read the full report here.
The apparent largesse in today’s budget come despite downgraded growth forecasts and uncertainty about the future of the economy post-Brexit. It has the flavour of a pre-election budget giveaway.