The Chancellor delivered his first and last Spring Budget on Wednesday 8 March 2017

Posted On 15 Mar 2017

There were some important announcements to take on board.

The self-employed will be remembered as the group hardest hit by this budget. The Chancellor wants to redress the balance between employees and the self-employed, announcing his intention to:

  • Increase Class 4 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from 9 per cent to 10 per cent in April 2018 and to 11 per cent in April 2019. Taken with the abolition of Class 2 NICs, Treasury say these changes will affect self-employed individuals with profits above £16,250.
  • Reduce dividend tax-free allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018. This will have a particular impact on those working via their own company.

Disappointingly – but unsurprisingly – the IR35 changes in the public sector were confirmed

Others points to note:
Personal tax allowance will increase to £11,500 as planned.

The UK’s lagging productivity levels were again in focus, though there were few new announcements. The Chancellor reiterated commitments made in the Autumn Statement to allocate funds for 5G, transport infrastructure, artificial intelligence, the next generation of electric vehicles, as well as funding for PHD places through the National Productivity Investment Fund.

Health and social care
Action is being taken to tackle the crisis in the NHS through immediate funding increases. A green paper on the long-term sustainability of the NHS is due soon.
There will be £2billion in additional funding for social care to councils in England and a further £425million to improve local NHS and A&E services.

Public sector resourcing
The Chancellor didn’t give much air time to this, but within the Spring Budget documents is a reaffirmed commitment to find £3.5 billion of savings. The government has asked Sir Michael Barber to lead a review which will consider how to embed a culture of efficiency across government departments as they cut costs.

Posted in Occupational Health

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