After the shock General Election victory for the Conservatives, the Queen’s Speech, which was delivered yesterday, set out the Government’s plans for the months and years to come.
How will your personal finances be affected? Will you be better or worse off? Read on as we reveal all.
The legislation likely to have the largest impact on your personal finance is the ‘National Insurance Contributions and Finance Bill’, which includes commitments that:
- Income tax, VAT and National Insurance will not increase during the next five years
- No one working 30 hours on the minimum wage will pay income tax (critics point out that this is already the case)
- The Personal Allowance, the amount you can earn before you start to pay tax, will rise in line with increases to the minimum wage and will reach £12,500 by 2020
It is expected that higher rate taxpayers will also benefit from the higher Personal Allowance, making you better off if you earn more than £42,385.
The cost of childcare is the second highest monthly bill, behind rent or mortgage payments, for many families.
The Childcare Bill will give parents in England 30 hours of free childcare for three and four year olds, for 38 weeks per year. This represents a significant increase from the 15 hours of free care which parents of young children are entitled to.
However, families will have to balance the increase in free childcare with potential cuts to welfare benefits and the freezing of child benefit for the next two years.
The previous Government provided significant help for homebuyers, particularly first time buyers, with schemes such as Help to Buy and Funding for Lending; however it is clear they want to go further.
The ‘Housing Bill’ will extend the right to buy to 1.3 million social housing tenants in England.
First time buyers will receive a further boost as 200,000 homes will be made available to people under the age of 40, at a 20% discount.
Much of the focus in the General Election campaign was on the £12 billion the Conservatives believe need to be cut from the welfare bill.
Although details are scarce at the moment, the Queen’s Speech introduced the ‘Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill’, which will reduce the welfare cap from £26,000 to £23,000, whilst freezing tax credits, child benefit and other working age benefits for two years.
If your children are coming to the end of their education and looking to enter the workplace rather than go to university, the news that the Government plans to create three million more apprenticeships will be welcomed.
However, if you were looking forward to some peace and quiet, you might have to think again, the automatic entitlement to housing benefit for 18 – 21 year olds is to be scrapped.
EU referendum bill
A referendum, asking whether or not we should stay as members of the EU, will take place by 2017 at the latest.
An EU referendum is unchartered territory for most people, it is therefore almost impossible to predict the result, let alone the effect it will have on your finances. However, the uncertainty created by holding the referendum could have a detrimental effect on the economy leading, perhaps, to more volatile share prices in the run up to 2017, which of course could have an knock on effect to your pensions and investments.
Budget Day – 8th July
The Queens Speech is generally light on detail, but you will only have to wait a few short weeks until the next Budget; yes, we know it’s only a couple of months since the last one!
When the Chancellor stands up on 8th July we can certainly expect further changes to pension legislation, possibly to restrict the amount of tax relief available and legislation to allow existing pensioners to ‘sell’ an existing Annuity for a lump sum.
We’re here to help
If you would like to know more about how your personal finances are affected by the Queen’s Speech call our office on 0115 933 8433 and ask to speak with Bev or Sarah, we would be delighted to help you.