Another year and another Autumn Budget that lacked in any meaningful plan to amend Britain’s broken housing market, but Mr. Hammond did do his part for small businesses across the UK through a number of measures.

The big headline of the day was a one third discount on business rates for businesses with a ratable value below £51,000, a UK digital services tax on big online companies such as Amazon and Facebook, profiting in the UK, a further 10,000 start-up loans, assistance for apprentice funding and the preservation of entrepreneurs tax relief.

Despite Chancellor Philip Hammond highlighting that the property market needs to be fixed the minimal mention of property in this year’s Autumn Budget stretched to an extension of the stamp duty cut for shared ownership for first-time buyers who buy between 25% and 75% of a property with the intention of the renting the rest.

Since last year’s Budget announcement to cut stamp duty for first-time buyers invest under a set price, the number of first-time buyers sits at its highest in 11 years, according to the chancellor.

It was announced that the Help to Buy initiative will be abolished in 2023 – a further extension of two years and the relief to shared ownership would also be backtracked for those that have bought since the Spring Statement.

The Government also plan to provide a further £500m to unlock 650,000 new homes via its housing infrastructure fund, but based on their abysmal track record at delivering the number of homes promised previously, this is unlikely to become a reality.

No amendment was made to Pension Tax Relief, which was largely predicted to be negatively impacted in this year’s Budget.

Social care, lager tech companies, and deals for Public Funding Initiatives took the biggest hit.  

Other big announcements in this year’s Autumn Budget included:

  • £10m of funding for the nation’s air ambulance services
  • NHS funding to be increased by £20.5bn over the next five years
  • £10m donation to support veterans with mental health issues
  • A one off £400m payment to schools for the extra little things they need

Here’s what our founder and CEO Russell Quirk had to say about the 2018 Autumn Budget.

As expected, the Government has chosen to turn its back on addressing the current housing crisis and has instead deployed yet more cheap magic tricks and white rabbits in an attempt to divert our attention.

Retrospective stamp duty relief on shared ownership properties up to £500,000 is a very small give away and £500 million to help with an additional 650,000 homes will equate to nothing but rhetoric.

To say that the big developers are not land banking shows a completely naïve disconnect from reality. Today’s absence of any meaningful housing announcements is disappointing, to say the least especially when the housing is the second hottest pollical topic in this day and age.

We’ve been led to believe that this Government is serious about fixing Britain’s broken housing market, but so far their attempts equate to little more than plugging holes with PVC and sticky tape, rather than delivering a solution based on a watertight blueprint.

Russell Quirk

Founder and CEO , Emoov.co.uk

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