Budget 2017: Updates and analysis

The Chancellor has announced £2 billion will be spent on social care in England over the next three years in his first ever Budget.

Philip Hammond said an extra £100 million would be allocated for GPs to work in A&E departments to help cut waiting times as he delcared the Tories the "party of the NHS".

But he was accused of breaking a key Tory manifesto pledge when he announced National Insurance contributions for the self-employed were to rise.

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn said the Chancellor had produced a "Budget of utter complacency" which ignored the state of the economy, public services and the lives of millions of people.

Other key points from the Budget included:

  • Most pubs are to be given a £1,000 discount on business rates as part of a £435 million package aimed to ease the burden on small businesses
  • National Insurance contributions paid by self-employed to increase by 1% to 10% in 2018 and 11% by 2019
  • A clampdown worth £820 million on tax avoidance, including action to stop businesses converting capital losses into trading losses
  • Councils to be given a £300 million "discretionary relief" fund to give to hard-pressed firms in their areas
  • £5 million "returnship" fund to enable people to go back to work after a career break
  • Free childcare for three and four-year-olds doubled to 30 hours a week

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Independent Brewers criticise two pence rise in beer tax

The Society of Independent Brewers has reacted to the Budget. Credit: PA

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has criticised plans announced in the Budget for a two pence rise in beer tax.

SIBA welcomed a £1000 reduction in business rates for pubs which it said would help to "support" the sector, but added that "more needs to be done" to counter the rise in beer duty.

The £1000 reduction in business rates for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 is welcome support for the sector, although much more needs to be done.

But this contrasts sharply with the two pence increase on beer tax which is a blow for the millions of people who enjoy a pint of British beer in their local pub and also for Britain's 1,800 small brewing businesses across the country.

We called for local brewers and community pubs to be supported with a cut in beer duty to build confidence, enable investment and create jobs in light of increasing costs and uncertainty, but the Chancellor's decision will be a setback.

– Mike Benner, SIBA Managing Director


First £1bn in social care funding 'available right now'

The first £1bn in extra funding for social care in England will be available "right now", ITV News Social Affairs Editor Penny Marshall has said.

Chancellor Philip Hammond's big announcement in Wednesday's Spring Budget was an additional £2bn over three years to help ease the pressure on social care.

The money, with £1 billion promised in 2017/18, follows intense pressure from MPs and councils, but falls short of the levels of funding demanded by some campaigners.

Penny Marshall said: "I've been able to establish that the £1bn is available right now, so for those struggling councils they will be able to commission care packages.

"It's going to hold them over until the better care fund comes into place, so there is some light, temporary light, at the end of the tunnel."

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