Want To Pay More Council Tax? No? Tough Luck
The Debrief: After Budget announcements, councils set to charge more…
While we were well and truly distracted by the news that the tampon tax will be used to fund women’s services, there were a hell of a lot of other things announced in the Autumn Budget. While George Osborne u-turned on tax credit cuts and police cuts and Jeremy Hunt retreated over making junior doctors work ridiculous hours, it wasn’t all great news.
Councils, which have already made huge cutbacks, face a big deficit in the run-up to 2020. What this means in the simplest terms is that they’ll have to make more cuts to make ends meet or begin charging more. Osborne made it possible for them to hike their council tax up by 2% to pay for adult social care. This means your bill could go up by £25 a year.
So what’s £25 a year? Well, here are some other things the Budget means for you:
If you started university in England or Wales in or after 2012, you won’t have to pay your student loan repayment threshold which is frozen until 2021. This sounds complicated, but basically it means you might have to make bigger repayments. On the plus side, repayments won’t have to be made until you’re earning over £21,000 a year.
Oh, and if you’re training to be a nurse? You won’t get a bursary from the government, you’ll get a loan that you have to then pay back!
George Osborne admitted there has been a crisis of home ownership among young people. So when it comes to starter homes, money’s going to be spent to get house builders to make them, and they’ll be offered at a 20% discount on prices up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 elsewhere.
There’ll also be reduced rent for people saving for a deposit.
And as part of the London Help to Buy scheme, if you save 5% of the value of a house (let’s say the house is the average price of a London home at £500,000, that’s £25,000), the government will give you an interest-free loan for up to five years, worth up to 40% of the value of the home.
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