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The Autumn Budget: What can we expect?

By Will Leyland, 10 October 2017

Phillip Hammond raised eyebrows earlier this year by announcing that the budget will be delivered in the autumn this year for the first time in over twenty years. It is expected to be announced around the same time the Autumn Statement had traditionally been delivered: late November or early December.

This year will now host two budget announcements in order to facilitate the change, meaning that the chancellor plans to hold an Autumn budget for the foreseeable future.

With Tory conference happening last week in Manchester, very little has been discussed regarding the budget and what we might expect from it when it is delivered. Hammond did give a speech at the conference but it was roundly criticised for offering almost no policy apart from an announcement on the Northern Powerhouse project.

So far we already know that, following an announcement earlier in the year, there is likely to be a follow up to the banning off letting agents fees, hotly disputed by many in the industry. There may also be announcements regarding tax and incentives but given the perceived hostile nature of changes to landlord taxes previously, it may be advised to go after them again.

Most are predicting that, given the March budget, there won’t be any huge shocks. Having said this, Theresa May and Phillip Hammond are widely known to be attempting to court the younger vote after the humiliating election performance earlier in the year thanks in part to their abysmal approval ratings amongst 18-30 voters.

May has already admitted that she will be looking to cap student tuition fees and repayments, indicating a big shift in focus.

Could this translate to landlords and property owners? Perhaps. Rent controls and housing are a very hot topic for Labour and Corbyn at the moment, with many young voters already struggling badly to get on the property ladder.

The chancellor did actually announce a further £10 billion investment into the Help to Buy scheme. Although the scheme has been criticised in some sectors as increasing demand without increasing supply, this should relieve some pressure.

Overall the noises coming from the Conservatives is one that aims to impress and attract back the younger progressive voters that it apparently lost at the election. Housing incentives and student fee overhauls are likely to scratch the surface of what is becoming a gaping sore for the party but unlikely to slow Jeremy Corbyn’s momentum with the youth vote.

As far as landlords go, the government appear to be, intelligently, leaving that one well alone after raiding the industry multiple times in order to find spare cash. Expect a budget that suits landlords for this year.

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