So you’ve probably seen that today the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond (the guy in Parliament who’s in charge of all the money) gave a roundup of our economy – the state of it right now, and what’s going to change going forward.
Here’s what you need to know:
The good news
Let’s start with some positives, shall we? Here’s all the good stuff to come out of the speech today:
- Stamp duty is going to be abolished immediately for first time buyers on properties up to £300,000
- Obviously, that’s slightly impossible if you want to buy in London, so to help those of us in the big smoke, the first £300,000 of the cost of a £500,000 purchase by all first-time buyers will be exempt from stamp duty, with the remaining £200,000 incurring 5%. Still a bit shit, but an improvement
- This doesn’t apply in Scotland yet, unless they decide to follow suit
- 300,000 new homes are set to be built, with a £44bn investment that includes money to make it easier for councils with high housing needs to build homes
- £28m for Kensington and Chelsea council for counselling and regeneration in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire (but no extra money for making high rise buildings more fire safe lol ok??)
- An extra £2.8bn for the NHS in England up to 2022
- A new railcard offering discounts to those aged between 26 and 30!! Yassss for those of us who still ain’t got our lives together in our twenties!!
- Duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders (except white ciders) will be frozen, equating to 1p off a pint of beer and 6p of a typical bottle of wine (every little helps lmao)
- £540m to support the growth of electric cars, including more charging points
- £40m teacher training fund for underperforming schools in England, which is apparently worth £1,000 per teacher
The bad news:
- The price of 20 cigarettes goes up by 28p and by 41p for 30g of rolling tobacco… although that could be good news, depends on your opinion I guess
- Economic growth forecast for 2017 has been slashed from 2% to 1.5% – the first time in a generation that growth is forecast to grow below 2% every year (so basically the economy is generally not so great)
- £3bn is being put aside for Brexit planning – slightly more than what’s being given to our NHS. Imagine if we didn’t have to deal with Brexit – we could have potentially had £6bn for the NHS…
The questionable points:
- No specific money has been set aside for this, but a vague promise to fund a pay rise for nurses if one is recommended by an independent panel was mentioned. So they’re not directly getting more money, they just MIGHT get more money… if someone else decides on it
- Apparently there’ll be a £1.5bn package to address concerns on universal credit (aka Jobseeker’s Allowance), scrapping the seven day waiting period. This means people will receive their money in five weeks instead of six weeks – but that’s still far too long for people who need it to go without money.
- Secondary schools and sixth-form colleges are to get £600 for each new pupil taking maths or further maths at A-level and core maths, at an expected cost of £177m. This could actually just put further pressure on students as teachers will want to encourage them to take these subjects – especially at secondary school level.
I went to a Maths specialist school, and everyone was basically pushed into doing as high a level of Maths as they could. We took our Maths GCSE a year early in Year 10, and afterwards were advised with what to do in Year 11. I was hopeless at Maths, but because I was generally a clever kid in other areas, I was pushed into re-taking my GCSE (despite already having a C grade) rather than do a Use of Maths course, which would have been way more useful.
Meanwhile, the kids who had done alright in their Year 10 GCSE were pushed into doing A Level Maths early, on top of the rest of their GCSEs which just created way more pressure. I don’t know, this could help, especially with encouraging more kids into doing STEM subjects – but I really think it would be more useful to just give schools more funding in general, and to increase pay for teachers to actually motivate them, rather than just creating more pressure for the kids.
What do you think of the 2017 Budget? Good times to come or a load of BS?