Van drivers set to save £2,500 a year thanks to Autumn Budget's fuel duty freeze

A freeze in fuel duty means tradespeople could soon be saving £2,500 a year on fuel.

There are also planned road improvements, and even good news on the average price of a pint, as Chancellor Philip Hammond announced his 2018 Autumn Budget.

The Chancellor opened his Budget 2018 speech by saying it would be “a Budget for hardworking families… the strivers, the grafters, and the carers who are the backbone of our economy.”

Here, we take a look at some of the key points for tradespeople to be aware of.

Fuel duty to be frozen

There’s good news if you’re a van driver – with fuel duty frozen for the ninth year in a row. We were expecting this to be the case, after the Prime Minister announced the continued freeze in her conference speech.

According to the Chancellor, that’s a saving of more than £2,500 a year for the average van driver, or over £1,000 a year if you’re a car driver.

Fixing potholes to be a priority

There was more good news for the many tradespeople who spend a lot of their working week driving on Britain’s roads – Mr Hammond announced that £420 million pounds is to be set aside for filling potholes.

This comes after the announcement reported in the Daily Mail on 27 October that £30bn will be spent repairing England’s roads, including motorway maintenance and potholes.

VAT threshold holding steady

If your small business is VAT-registered, you’ll be pleased to hear the VAT threshold will stay the same for two years, with the threshold currently standing at £85,000.

GOV.UK states that you can choose to register voluntarily for VAT, and you have to register if:

  • you expect your VAT taxable turnover to be more than £85,000 in the next 30-day period
  • your business had a VAT taxable turnover of more than £85,000 over the last 12 months

Read more in our article on VAT requirements.

National living wage increase

For tradespeople with employees, the rise to the national living wage will be of interest. From April 2019, it’s set to increase from £7.83 to £8.21.

This will give the average full-time worker a pay rise of £690 a year.

Apprenticeships levy to lower for small businesses

A thorn in the side of many, the apprenticeships levy is set to change.

For small companies, it’ll be reduced from 10 per cent to five per cent, helping ease the burden on tradespeople running small businesses.

Enjoy a well-deserved after work drink?

It could be good news – and afterall, who doesn’t deserve to relax with their workmates after a hard day’s graft?

Thankfully socialising in the pub isn’t set to get any more expensive if you’re a beer, cider, or spirits drinker – with duties to be frozen on those drinks.

Wine drinkers, on the other hand, will see duty on their favourite tipple rise in line with inflation. And if you’re a smoker, you can expect the duty on your tobacco to increase by inflation plus two per cent.

Autumn Budget 2018 announcements: a summary for tradespeople

Here’s our brief breakdown of the announcements that could most affect small businesses.

  • There’ll be no rise in fuel duty, for the ninth year in a row

  • £420 million will be spent on fixing potholes on British roads

  • The VAT threshold won’t change

  • The national living wage will increase to £8.21

  • Duty will be frozen on beer, cider, and spirits (but not wine or tobacco)

  • The Chancellor has said, “Austerity is coming to an end, but discipline will remain.”

What are your thoughts on the Autum Budget 2018? Let us know in the comments below.

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