Although the Spring Statement is not intended to be a major fiscal event, the Chancellor did announce some business and investment measures.
At the Autumn Budget 2017 it was announced that business rates revaluations will take place every three years, rather than every five years, following the next revaluation. At the Spring Statement the Chancellor announced that the next revaluation will be brought forward from 2022 to 2021, meaning that the first change to three-year revaluations will take place in 2024.
Following the launch at the Autumn Budget of the £190m Challenge Fund to help roll out full-fibre broadband to local areas, the Spring Statement allocates the first wave of funding, providing over £95m for 13 areas across the UK.
The government has a target of raising the supply of homes to 300,000 a year on average by the mid-2020s. In the Spring Statement it was announced that the Housing Growth Partnership, which provides financial support for small housebuilders, will be more than doubled to £220m. London will receive £1.67bn to start building a further 27,000 affordable homes by the end of 2021/22.
Improving transport in English cities
The government is now inviting bids from cities across England for the remaining £840m of the £1.7bn fund announced in the Autumn Budget for improving transport in English cities.
The Chancellor announced that up to £80m of funding will be released to support small businesses in engaging an apprentice.
Increase in the pensions Lifetime Allowance
The Lifetime Allowance represents the maximum amount that an individual can save into their pension pot and still benefit from tax relief at their marginal rate. As previously announced, it will increase in line with CPI for 2018/19, rising from £1,000,000 to £1,030,000.
New National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates
From 1 April 2018 the NLW for workers aged 25 and over will rise to £7.83 per hour. The NMW rates will also increase, rising to £7.38 for those aged 21-24 and to £5.90 for workers aged 18-20. The rate for 16 and 17-year-olds will go up to £4.20, while the NMW for apprentices (those under 19, or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship) will be set at £3.70.