Philip Hammond has delivered the Autumn Budget. Here are some of the key points.
Extra cash for those on universal credit
The chancellor announced two new measures to help people who are claiming Universal Credit. He's set aside £1 billion over five years to fund top-up payments for those who have moved onto universal credit from other benefits. And work allowances – what people can earn before they start to lose their benefits – will be increased by £1,000/year, meaning some will have an extra £630/year in their pocket.
The work allowance is a set amount you can earn before your universal credit is reduced.
There are two levels of work allowances, depending on your circumstances:
- If you're NOT getting housing support, you can earn £2,376/year in your pay packet.
- If you're getting housing support, you can earn £4,908/year in your pay packet.
But from April next year, you'll be able to earn an additional £1,000 a year before your universal credit is affected.
If you are worried about Universal Credit and are struggling to pay your rent, get in touch with our Income Team on 01606 813535 or email email@example.com
Stamp duty relief has been extended to shared ownership properties up to the value £500,000
If you're a first-time buyer and purchase a shared ownership property up to this value, you'll now pay zero stamp duty. This change comes into effect immediately and will also be applied retrospectively back to the last Budget, so you'll likely be able to get cash back if you bought since November 2017
Shared ownership is when someone buys between 25% and 75% of a home and then rents the rest of it. Find out more about how it works here
Income tax will be cut earlier than planned – meaning an extra £130 in your pocket if you're a basic-rate taxpayer
Two changes which were supposed to come in during April 2020 will now apply from April 2019 instead. The personal allowance – the amount you can earn without paying any income tax – will be raised from £11,850 to £12,500.
Councils to be given £420 million for road repairs
This will be made available immediately to fix potholes and carry out other repairs. The boost comes after a harsh winter followed by a scorching summer has damaged many local roads.
Learn how you can make a claim for pothole damage here
The national living wage for over-25s will rise to £8.21 an hour
t is currently £7.83/hour for those over the age of 25. The national minimum wage, which applies to those under 25, is also rising.
If you need help or advice when it comes to getting into work, training or education, get in touch with our Employment Horizons team on 01606 813 546 or email Workteam@wvht.co.uk
People struggling with debt will be given more 'breathing space
People struggling with serious debt are set to be given a longer grace period of 60 days before being hit with further interest, charges and enforcement action.
The idea behind the 'breathing space' scheme – also known as a debt respite scheme – is to give people in problem debt a fixed period without fees, charges, interest or enforcement action, to allow them time to get on top of debts before they spiral out of control.
If you’re a Weaver Vale customer and struggling with debt, get in touch with our Money Matters team on 01606 813341/01606 813470 or email Moneymatters@wvht.co.uk
Extra money for the NHS
The Government confirmed an extra £20.5bn for the NHS over the next five years. Plans were also announced for a mental health crisis service in all A&Es alongside more mental health ambulances, crisis services in the community and a new mental health crisis hotline.
If you are struggling and need the support of our Support and Wellbeing Team, get in touch by calling 0300 303 9848 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org