Chancellor Philip Hammond focused the Autumn Statement on preparing and supporting the UK economy “as it begins a new chapter in our country’s history”. The Government raised the point at which people start to pay tax to £12,500 and the point at which they pay the higher rate to £50k by 2020. Some £10bn of additional funding a year for the NHS by the end of 2020/21 was announced, and for business, Mr Hammond announced £400m in venture capital funds to unlock £1bn of finance for start-ups, to stop them being swallowed up by the big firms, he doubled UK export finance capacity and confirmed that corporation tax will fall to 17%, the lowest rate in the G20. For housing, the Chancellor pledged £1.4bn for 40,000 affordable homes, as well as a relaxation of restrictions on Government grants to help building and said lettings agents’ fees for tenants in rented accommodation will be banned. Mr Hammond also stressed his ambition for the UK to “be a world leader in 5G” and invested £1bn in the country’s digital infrastructure.
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