Autumn Budget 2018

01 November 2018

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, presented his Budget to the House of Commons on Monday 29 October. After four days of debate in the Commons, the house divided three times, first to reject a Labour amendment and then to uphold two budget resolutions. Following these results, the Government can now introduce its Finance Bill.

Autumn Budget 2018

Thursday 31 October

The final day of debate ended with three divisions.

First, Labour's amendment (a) was voted down 313 - 246. This amendment would have forced the Government to publish distributional analysis of Labour’s income tax policy, of reducing the threshold for the additional rate to £80k & introducing a supplementary rate charged at 50% above £125k.

Then, the Commons voted 314 - 31 in favour of Budget resolution 5, which relates to income tax thresholds, including the raising of the personal allowance to £12,500 from April 2019.

Finally, the Commons voted 312 - 295 in favour of Budget resolution 79, which upholds the government's "Henry VIII powers", to spend what money is required to fulfil a purpose, and in this case, relates to Brexit withdrawal spending.

Now that the four days debate is finished, the government can introduce their 2018 Finance Bill which can begin its passage through Parliament.

Wednesday 31 October

The second day of debate on the 2018 Budget included discussion of transport, Scotland, school and social care funding.

Tuesday 30 October

On the first day of budget debates, MPs questioned the government on many aspects of the 2018 Budget. The question of whether this Budget is truly an 'end to austerity' is perhaps the most frequent and contentious, with MPs scrutinising proposed changes to tax and funding for public services.

Today the Commons Library also released their analysis of public spending as relates to the Budget.

Monday 29 October 2018

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has delivered the 2018 Budget Statement, outlining the government's proposed changes to taxation and expenditure for the coming year.

"We have reached a defining moment on this, long, hard journey, opening a new chapter in our country’s economic history where we can look confidently to the future and set our course for where this remarkable country will go next. Because today, I can report to the British people that their hard work is paying off, and the era of austerity is finally coming to an end."

The Government announced additional spending on the NHS and Universal Credit, and the establishment of a £675 million Future High Streets Fund and other measures intended to support ‘a sustainable transformation’ of high streets.

Short term spending increases (2018/19), ahead of next year’s Spending Review, were announced for several areas, including defence and counter-terrorism policing, education and social care.

The income tax personal allowance will increase to £12,500 from April 2019 and  National Living Wage will increase by 4.9%, from £7.83 to £8.21, from April 2019.

The Chancellor also announced that in the context of Brexit, he reserves the right to take whatever action is appropriate if there is a material change to the outlook, including if necessary upgrading the Spring Statement to a full Fiscal Event, such as a Budget.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, was critical of the government's Budget proposal saying,

"This Budget will not undo the damage done by eight years of austerity and does not begin to measure up to the scale of the job that needs to be done to rebuild Britain."

What is the Budget?

The Budget, is a statement made to the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the nation’s finances and the Government’s proposals for changes to taxation. The Budget also includes forecasts for the economy by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Related information

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

The Library has published a background briefing paper on the Budget

Image: PA

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