Budget Summary, in an objective format!
This briefing provides an initial overview of the main announcements made today by the Chancellor in his Budget speech.
Social care and the NHS
· An additional £2 billion to councils over the next 3 years to spend on adult social care services. £1 billion of this will be provided in 2017-18.
· The government will set out proposals to achieve a fair and more sustainable basis for adult social care in a green paper to put the system on a more secure and sustainable long term footing.
· An additional £100 million to the NHS in 2017‑18 for capital investment in A&E departments.
· £325 million will be invested in a first set of the best local Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).
· Business rate revaluation process will be reformed ‘making it smoother and more frequent’. A preferred approach will be announced at the Autumn Budget 2017 with consultation ahead of the next revaluation in 2022.
· £435m of further support for businesses facing significant increases in bills including:
- support for small businesses losing Small Business Rate Relief via an additional cap of £50 a month.
- £300m of discretionary relief for councils, to allow them to provide support to individual hard cases in their local area.
- £1,000 business rate discount for pubs with a rateable value of up to £100,000, for one year from 1 April 2017.
· Local government will be fully compensated for the loss of income as a result of these measures.
· The Government will consult on proposals to redesign rent-a-room relief, to ensure it is better targeted to support longer-term lettings.
· New T-levels for 16 to 19 year old technical students will be introduced from autumn 2019. Students will be able to choose from 15 different routes such as construction, digital or agriculture.
· The government will increase the number of programme hours of training for 16-19 year olds on technical routes by more than 50%, including the completion of a high quality industry work placement during the programme.
· Further Education maintenance loans to encourage students to continue their training at high quality institutions such as National Colleges or Institutes of Technology.
· £40m spending by 2018-19 to test different approaches to help people to retrain and upskill throughout their working lives.
· £5m funding for return to work support to help people who have taken lengthy career breaks achieve a clear route back to employment.
· £90m to provide 1,000 new PhD places, including in science, technology, engineering and maths.
· £210m to create new fellowships to conduct research in areas such as bioscience and biotechnology, quantum technologies, and satellite and space technology.
· £320m extension of the free schools. Programme to help fund up to 140 schools, including independent-led, faith, selective, university-led and specialist maths schools.
· £216m investment in school maintenance.
· Free school transport to attend the nearest selective school for 11 to 16 year olds in receipt of free school meals or whose parents claim Maximum Working Tax Credit.
· Schools White Paper to be published.
· A Memorandum of Understanding on further devolution to London covering joint working to explore opportunities around locally-delivered criminal justice services; action to tackle congestion; a taskforce to explore piloting a new approach to funding infrastructure; greater powers and flexibilities over the administration of business rates; greater local influence over careers services, employment support services and the apprenticeship levy. A second Memorandum of Understanding on Health and Social Care is also planned.
· The government is in discussions with Greater Manchester on future transport funding.
· An additional £20m over the Parliament to support organisations working to combat domestic violence and abuse, and to support victims.
· The government will investigate ways to protect consumers from unnecessary costs and inefficiencies, including:
- preventing consumers being charged unexpectedly when a subscription is renewed or a free trial ends.
- making terms & conditions simpler and clearer including in digital contracts, like when you sign up to a social network.
- fining companies that mislead or mistreat consumers.
· £690m competitive fund for new local transport projects, to improve congestion on roads and public transport.
· £220m to improve congestion points on national roads, with £90m going to the North and £23m to the Midlands.
· The government will consult on a detailed draft plan in the spring which will set out how the UK’s air quality goals will be achieved.
· The government will legislate to set new statutory packaging recycling targets for 2018 to 2020.
· Tax-Free Childcare will provide up to £2,000 a year in childcare support for each child under 12.
· Working parents in England will also be able to apply for an additional 15 hours of free childcare for three and four year olds, bringing the total to 30 hours a week.