The middle classes across Britain will have heaved a collective sigh of relief when Philip Hammond finally sat down at the end of his Autumn Budget 2017 speech. Press stories about cuts in reliefs and increases in VAT proved unfounded.
There was no mention of restrictions in pension relief or contributions, no reduction in the VAT thresholds and no increases in income tax or national insurance. What is more, significant amounts of infrastructure spending were announced and a generous stamp duty land tax exemption was introduced. Precisely where the money will come from for all of this is not immediately clear.
There were some changes announced relating to introducing capital gains tax on overseas companies disposing of UK commercial property and also on persons disposing of foreign entities holding UK real estate. However no clear tax raising policies were announced.
But don’t hold your breath. There will be yet another raft of consultations across a wide range of subjects so there are undoubtedly more changes coming in the future.
However for the time being the Chancellor appears to have delivered a largely uncontroversial speech with very little to object to, which was probably a wise decision given the government’s wafer thin parliamentary majority.
Our other Autumn Budget 2017 articles: