Briefing 44: Spring Budget 2017

The 2017 Budget was delivered against a backdrop of economic resilience since the vote to leave the EU last June, but still heightened uncertainty as the Government prepares to invoke Article 50 in the coming weeks. Having moved the date for future Budgets to the Autumn, the Chancellor broadly held true to his promise that this would be a low key final Spring Budget. He did, however, respond to widespread concerns about the pressures on the health and social care system, with an additional £2 billion for adult social care allocated over the next 3 years. A number of tax changes were announced including to the rate of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) paid by self-employed workers and income tax on dividends. The much trailed calls to ease the burden of steep rises in business rates for some companies were partially acknowledged with the Chancellor announcing extra help for some small firms affected by the revaluation of properties this year. The Budget also confirmed the Government’s ongoing discussions with Greater Manchester (GM) in relation to future transport funding and announced the allocation of £90 million to the North to ease road congestion.