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Analysis: New funding for free schools

Simon Wagman is a partner at Blick Rothenberg, an accounting, tax, and advisory practice.

Simon said: "The Chancellor's announcement of funding for 110 new free schools on top of the current commitment to 500 free schools is a further indication of planning for a younger generation's future.

"As part of the government's commitment for growth and increasing employment for all, Hammond has announced a significant commitment to further increasing the number of free schools for ensuring all children have relevant schooling and education for their own needs.

"This, coupled with apprenticeships and 'T-Levels' will ensure all young people entering the workforce will be suitably skilled and with suitable experience to benefit future employers."

Tax free dividend allowance to be reduced

The tax free dividend allowance is to be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced.

ITV News Economics Editor Noreena Hertz said the measure "won't directly impact those on low incomes so should be pretty popular".

However ITV News presenter Tom Bradby pointed out that the change "won't be popular with businesses".

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Analysis: Chancellor tackles company director dividends

Simon Wagman is a partner at Blick Rothenberg, an accounting, tax, and advisory practice.

He said: "In order to remedy the inconsistency of director-shareholders paying themselves dividends, the Chancellor has said he will reduce the tax-free dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 with effect from April 2018.

"He will however increase the ISA allowance to £20,000, to enable savers to further benefit, but not at the expense of those managing their own companies."

Debt forecast to rise to 86.6% of GDP

The UK's national debt is forecast to rise to 86.6% of GDP this year, peaking at 88.8% next year - 1.4 percentage points lower than forecast in November, Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.

He said it would then fall to 88.5%, 86.9% and 83% in subsequent years, reaching 79.8% in 2021/22.

Mr Hammond told MPs that borrowing over the forecast period is set to be £100 billion higher than predicted at Budget 2016.

He added that his Budget will "fund all additional spending decisions over the forecast period", avoiding additional borrowing.

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