Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond presented the Government’s first Autumn Budget on 22 November. An optimistic Mr Hammond opened his Budget stating that he hoped for a “Britain that we can be proud of”, and after he promised us a “Britain fit for the future”.
This forward-thinking Budget very much focused on the needs of millennials, start-up businesses and the technology sector with stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on homes under £300,000 for first-time buyers abolished and investment allocated to a range of initiatives from artificial intelligence to 5G and full fibre broadband.
Housing, Health and Infrastructure were also given a boost, which is great news for those looking for future procurement opportunities in these key sectors. The Chancellor announced that the UK is on track to build 300,000 new homes per year, and that he wanted to connect those who are living outside of city centres with new transport initiatives.
If you want the breakdown of all the Autumn Budget 2017 figures, here you can discover what public sector pipelines of work await your industry sector.
- Philip Hammond said that there is a “new tech business in Britain founded every hour”; he wants that to change to “every half hour”.
- The Government plans to invest over £500m in a range of initiatives from artificial intelligence to 5G and full fibre broadband.
- The Government wants to invest in driverless vehicles, with fully self-driving cars to be on UK roads by 2021.
- A new £400m charging infrastructure fund will be introduced. The Government will invest an extra £100m in the Plug-In-Car Grant, and £40m in charging R&D.
- £30m to trial new solutions on the Trans Pennine route to improve mobile and digital connectivity on trains.
- The Government will fund the replacement of the 40-year-old rolling stock on the Tyne and Wear Metro.
- The Chancellor announced spending power increases for the Scottish and Welsh Governments and the Northern Ireland Executive.
- £2bn more for the Scottish Government.
- £1.2bn more for the Welsh Government.
- £660m more for the Northern Ireland Executive.
- Government in talks to provide Northern Ireland with new city deals.
- The Government will invest £38m in the West Midlands, Liverpool and Manchester to help rough sleepers.
- More than £1bn of lending will be made available to councils to fund high-investment projects.
- The Government will provide Kensington and Chelsea Council with a further £28m for mental health services, regeneration support for the surrounding areas and a new community space for Grenfell United.
- The Chancellor urged local councils that require funding for fire safety (housing) to reach out to the Government.
- An additional £10bn has been assigned to the NHS over the course of this Parliament to support the NHS’s Sustainability and Transformation plans.
- Additional commitment of resource funding of £2.8bn to the NHS in England.
- £3.5bn to upgrade NHS building plans to improve care.
- NHS staff will receive a pay rise.
SMEs & Business
- Mr Hammond said that “this Conservative Government is listening to small businesses”.
- He aims to bring forward the planned business rates switch from RPI to CPI by two years.
- The Government is extending the £1000 discount for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 for one more year to March 2019.
- The ‘Staircase tax’ will be axed.
- Businesses to gain £2.3bn thanks to a change in the rules for the uprating of business rates.
- The UK has the highest VAT registration threshold in the OECD, at £85,000. This will not be lowered but Mr Hammond will look at reforming it.
- No reduction in the VAT threshold for SMEs.
- Scottish Police and Fire will get a VAT refund from April 2018. The Chancellor puts the VAT change down to the influence of Scottish Tory MPs: “I am getting used to having my ear bent by my 13 Scottish Conservative colleagues.”
- Over the next five years the Government will commit a total of at least £44bn to capital funding, loans and guarantees to support the housing market.
- Mr Hammond announced that the UK is on track to reach 300,000 new homes per year.
- New money for the Home Builders Fund to get SME housebuilders building again.
- The Government is allocating £1.5bn to help smaller firms build more houses.
- Housing Infrastructure Fund to increase to £2.7bn.
- Abolition of stamp duty for all first-time buyers (up to £300,000).
- Government committed to build up to one million homes in the Oxford-Cambridge-West Mids Corridor.
What does this Budget mean for procurement?
The Chancellor announced that he will extend the National Productivity Investment Fund for a further year and expand it to over £31bn.
What we can take away from this year’s Budget is that the Government is spending money in the following areas:
- Digital Communications
This means that now is an excellent time to invest in public procurement. If you would like to find out how you can start to win government tenders, there is more information about this in our Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts.
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