Boost for income tax payers as Hammond eases austerity

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He said: "With one breath the SNP say they want to attract people to come to Scotland and then they follow it up by making Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK".

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said when he heard that the party "would be backing Philip Hammond's tax cuts for the richest" it sent a "shiver down my spine".

Mr McDonnell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Labour would support the tax cuts on the basis they would "inject some demand into the economy".

"The Budget spends the fiscal windfall rather than saving it", the OBR said.

Among the major announcements in this year's Autumn Budget was the introduction of a new UK Digital Services tax, a freeze on beer duty and millions in funding for local highway authorities to tackle potholes with. "I think he has abandoned any idea of getting to budget balance by the mid-2020s".

"This is no bonanza - many public services are going to feel squeezed for some time to come", Johnson said.

Over the next five years, total public investment is growing 30 percent to its highest sustained level in 40 years, investing in the roads, railways, research, and digital infrastructure that will power our economy through the 21st Century.

Scots now pay income tax at 41p in the pound between £43,340 and £150,000, while in England the rate is 40p and the threshold is £46,350.

Mr Hammond said that it was "important to raise all of these thresholds", as many middle-income workers in schools, hospitals and police services had been dragged into the higher rate of income tax.

However, his overall impression was Mr Hammond had families in mind - as opposed to students - when crafting this year's announcement.

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The Chancellor denied he had "abandoned fiscal rectitude" but claimed a good Brexit deal could trigger more tax cuts and further boosts to public spending.

The Personal Allowance for Income Tax will increase from £11,850 to £12,500 in April 2019 with the higher rate tax threshold increasing from £46,350 to £50,000 at the same time.

A change that gives a truer picture by putting income tax and NI together, has been looked at by government in the past, but whether it will ever happen is questionable at best.

In response to Mr Raab's letter, Downing Street said "we are working to achieve a deal as soon as possible".

Johnson said it was hard to measure spending on the NHS but under several measures, the rise was what one is measuring between 2.6 percent a year (an estimate of total health spending increases between 2017-18 and 2023-24) and 3.4 percent a year (daily spending on the NHS over the same period).

But spending for departments outside of health and defence will remain largely flat, the IFS said.

They will meet executives to discuss Brexit and this week's annual Budget, which included spending pledges and higher taxes on technology firms.

As well as giving, there was some taking.

In a move created to put the United Kingdom at the forefront of global action to adapt tax systems to the digital age, the Chancellor announced a £400 million levy aimed at internet giants such as Google and Facebook.

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