What the Budget means for you

J Finance Newbury Autumn Budget and Housing

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled his Autumn 2021 Budget. We take a look at some of the key points that might affect you…

Autumn Budget 2021

When the Chancellor made his statement to the House of Commons, several points had already been made public. They included the increase (from next April) in the national living wage, which will be £9.50, ie, a 6.6% increase. Public sector workers should also see their pay rise next year when a pay freeze is lifted.

A sum of £5.9bn has been allocated to the NHS in order to tackle the backlog of patients waiting for tests and scans. In another attempt to cope with the effects of the pandemic, Rishi Sunak also announced an extra £2bn for schools, along with promises of more funding in the next few years.

There had been hopes that families hit by soaring prices, pay freezes and the effects of the pandemic would be helped by a cut on the VAT on household energy bills, but that has not happened, although there has been a freeze on fuel duty. However, following widespread criticism of the £20 cut to Universal Credit, changes to the taper rate will allow working claimants to keep more of their benefits.

Earlier in the year we were also told that the income tax threshold would be frozen for the next five years, and in September we learned that we would all pay 1.25p more in the pound for National Insurance (from April 2022) in order to fund social care.

In respect of housing, the Chancellor talked about new homes and infrastructure stating that housebuilding would get the “largest cash investment in a decade.” His package of nearly £24 billion is for the building of new homes, redevelopment of brownfield sites and the removal of dangerous cladding. Specifically:

  • £1.8 billion to develop 1500 hectares of brownfield land unlocking one million new homes
  • An £11.5 billion investment for 180,000 new homes through the Affordable Homes scheme – 65% of that funding will be available for homes outside of London
  • £5 billion to remove unsafe cladding from high rise buildings (over 18 metres high) to be partly funded property developers making profits over £25 million, at a levy of four per cent
  • £65 million to re-vamp England’s planning system – including digitisation to simplify local plans

And last, but by no means least, a very welcome commitment of £640m a year has been pledged to address rough sleeping and homelessness – which no doubt our chosen charity, Young People and Children First, will applaud as they continue to receive lots of referrals from West Berks and the surrounding areas for young homeless people in need of a loving home.

You can see all the key points of today’s Budget at a glance here.