2018 Autumn Budget – what to expect

Industrial Strategy

Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver his 2018 Autumn Budget speech today at 3:30pm. We will be keeping you up to date on the key Budget announcements.

The 2018 Budget is the last before the UK leaves the EU, and many expect the Chancellor to outline how he intends to prepare the UK economy for Brexit.

Speculation is rife that the Chancellor will freeze income tax thresholds, despite the Conservative Party’s manifesto pledge to increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate income tax threshold to £50,000 by 2020. Abandoning the plans could result in many taxpayers losing out on significant savings.

Meanwhile, experts have speculated that Mr Hammond could overhaul the tax rules that rule the self-employed out of paying national insurance contributions (NICs). The Treasury reportedly believes that a third of people claiming to be self-employed as part of a ‘personal service company’ are actually employees, and should therefore pay more tax. It has dubbed such individuals as the ‘synthetic self-employed’.

The government may seek to reform the IR35 rules in order to demand that firms using personal service companies take legal responsibility for making sure that ‘off-payroll’ contractors abide by stringent regulations.

As previously announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, the Chancellor is set to freeze fuel duty for the ninth consecutive year. However, many believe that duty on alcohol may rise in the Budget, as this typically increases in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI), which presently stands at 3.3%.