In an Autumn Budget that announced an end to austerity whilst maintaining fiscal discipline, the Chancellor provided some positive news for the road transport industry.
First and foremost was a ninth consecutive freeze on fuel duty and a welcome £420m investment in the UK’s crumbling road network.
Elsewhere, with an eye on helping independent retailers, there was a one third cut in rates for high street businesses with a rateable value of £51k or less. To level the bricks and clicks business playing field further, he introduced a 2% on digital services businesses.
With effect from April 2019, there will be a rise in the National Living Wage – up from £7.83 to £8.21. In an effort to smooth the negative effects of Universal Credit there will be an additional £1bn over the next five years.
Personal tax rate thresholds will increase from April 2019; the basic rate threshold will start at £12,500 and for higher earners, from £50,000.
There was some assistance for schools, who will be receiving an additional £400m to help them pay for essential ‘kit’.
On the environmental front, truckers and the rest of us buying a take away coffee won’t face a ‘latte levy’. But there is a new tax to be introduced on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging.
On a more flippant note, the Chancellor announced a business rate relief for public lavatories. However he refused to become ‘bogged’ down in the detail and suggested that it was the only Budget announcement that hadn’t been leaked.