Listen: Key measures in the Autumn budget
Lucy Warwick-Ching and guests discuss the Budget announcements and what it means for your pocket.
Presented by Lucy Warwick-Ching
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Tax breaks for first-time buyers and a boost for EIS investors-- what will this year's budget mean for you? Welcome to The Money Show, the FT's weekly podcast on personal finance and investing. I'm Lucy Warwick-Ching, the FT Money's Digital Editor, and I'll be bringing you the inside track on this week's budget with the help of independent experts Christine Ross of Handlesbanken Wealth Management, Raj Mody of PWC, and Nimesh Shah of Blick Rothenberg.
On Wednesday, Philip Hammond delivered a speech clearly designed to woo younger voters with a finale of tax breaks for first-time buyers. He promised to fix Britain's housing market with a package of investment, planning reforms, and tax cuts for first-time buyers. The move was widely expected, but Christine has been delving into the details. So Christine, tell us who this will affect and how this will work.
The chancellor's headline move was to abolish Stamp Duty for first-time buyers on properties up to GB 300,000 in value or up to GB 500,000 in total with the first GB 300,000 of the purchase price, again not being subject to Stamp Duty. So even at the half million level, first time buyers will be GB 5,000 better off. I think care needs to be taken on the definition of a first-time buyer, particularly couples. If one of them have previously owned property, that will disqualify them from this new tax break.
Right, and there were also measures improving the benefits of investing in tax-efficient investments. Nimesh, can you explain what was announced?
The budget announced quite widespread reforms to the enterprise investment scheme and the venture capital trust regime. These are two government-backed investment schemes. They've been around for over 20 years now, but the moves today were to encourage more private investment in what the government dubbed high growth, innovative firms, or what we would think of as technology businesses.
So from next April, an individual investor can now invest up to GB 2,000,000 in these qualifying businesses, which could give them GB 600,000 pounds of tax relief in a year. Also, the companies benefit because the limits that they're allowed to take on of investment is also doubled. The chancellor could have gone a step further around this by actually increasing the tax breaks available, which could encouraged further investment.
And so finally, let's turn to the dogs that didn't bark. There was a lot of speculation running up to the budget that chancellor would announce more pension measures, but this didn't happen. Raj, you've been looking at this. Tell us more.
Well, yes, people were speculating that there would be changes to the lifetime allowance, or the annual allowance, or even the pensions tax relief system wholesale. In the event, nothing much happened. The lifetime allowance was confirmed to go up in line with inflation to one GB 1,030,000 from next year, but no other changes to the annual allowance, and certainly not the wholesale reform to the pensions tax system that it really needs. I don't think that topic has gone away for good. GB 40 billion worth of tax revenues turn on the system of pensions tax relief, so I'm sure this chancellor, or some future one, will be coming back to it one day.
And so fairly nondescript budget, but is there something in the pipeline, Nimesh?
I think, having delved into the detail of the budget documents, there's certainly some suggestion and innuendo that there are some changes afoot over the next year or so. There's consultations announced for inheritance tax, trusts, IHT reliefs, a suggestion that Rent a Room relief could go in the future. So I think it's a watch-this-space for the next few years.
And so that wraps up our budget coverage for today. Thanks to Christine, Nimesh, and Raj for joining us in the studio and for reacting so quickly to these issues. You can read more about the FT's coverage of the budgets and how it will affect your finances on our website, ft.com/money. Or follow us on Twitter @ftmoney for the latest tweets as more of the hidden details emerge.
This weekend you can read a comprehensive analysis of the budgets and how it affects you in FT Money, part of the Weekend Edition, or read online at FT.com/money. That's all for in The Money Show this week. If you've got a story you would like the FT money team to follow up, or a question about how the budget will have affected your finances, get in touch. You can email us firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us @ftmoney. We will be back at the usual time next week. Goodbye.