It’s arrived, the final Budget before the UK leaves the EU has been delivered with the Chancellor, Philip Hammond – citing a “New Chapter” for the economy, but is austerity coming to an end?

In a speech that lasted more than 70 minutes, the Chancellor claimed that after repairing the damage to the public finances that:

“we have reached a defining moment on this long, hard journey.”

He described it as a Budget for “the strivers, the grafters and the carers,” promising a “brighter future” after years of constraint and announced a slight increase in growth forecasts, from 1.3% to 1.6% for 2019, plus better-than-expected borrowing figures. But what does this mean for you from us?

From April 2019, your tax-free personal allowance will increase from £11,850 to £12,500.

The change means that taxpayers will be able to earn £12,500 before they have to start paying any income tax at all. The Conservative Party had originally pledged to implement the increase by 2020, but the Chancellor moved this forward by one year, so we’ll see this sooner than expected.

The Chancellor commented:

“My idea of ending austerity does not involve increasing people’s tax bills. I didn’t come into politics to put taxes up.”

National Living Wage will increase by 4.9% from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour, from April 2019.

The National Living Wage will increase by 4.9% from April 2019, rising from £7.83 an hour to £8.21 an hour for employees aged 25 and over. The Chancellor also announced that the minimum wage for other age groups will also see a rise.

• From £7.38 to £7.70 for people aged between 21-24
• From £5.90 to £6.15 for people aged between 18-20
• From £4.20 to £4.32 for those aged between 16-17

The statutory rate for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship will increase by 20p an hour to £3.90.

The Chancellor said:

“We are at a turning point in our history and we must resolve to go forwards, not backwards and work together to build a Britain we can all be proud of.”

You can expect to see these increases regardless of the BREXIT deal.

Downing Street has confirmed that despite the uncertainty of the BREXIT deal, this Budget will go ahead irrespective with long-term spending decisions being made next year, after Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU.

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