2018 has been a political shitstorm in the UK but most recently the Chancellor (the Chancellor is responsible for all things economic and financial, examples can be through adjusting taxation to increase revenue and overseeing public spending), Phillip Hammond announced the budget a couple weeks ago, therefore you have probably heard it from your parents, political buds and on your news feed. I won’t bore you with all the mumbo-jumbo you’ve read on your 5.5-inch screens.
What I will do, however, is explain to you what the budget actually means for you and other students.
What is a ‘budget statement’?
In short, the Budget is a statement proposed by the Chancellor to the House of Commons, outlining the nation’s finances and changes to taxation. It also includes forecasts for the economy by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
What does it mean for students? Well, we can learn about the necessary things that will impact us, such as funding for the NHS, schools, national living wages and most importantly if our favourable alcoholic beverages price will rise with inflation. (You will have to read on to find out about that). Additionally, if you are a working student, then you will also find out if you will have to pay income tax on your wage.
Good news for working students
- Turns out we are all becoming workaholics, with over 3.3 million people in employment since 2010 and the figures are taken from April to June 2018, showed a staggering 32.39 million people were in work.
- The National Living Wage, which to us is the minimum wage employers are obliged to pay (this excludes apprenticeship wages) will increase in April 2019. Hallelujah! So what will be the minimum age for you from April 2019? Check it out below…
16 to 17-year-olds: £4.35
18 to 20-year-olds: £6.15
21 to 24-year-olds: £7.70
25-year-olds and over: £8.21
- The tax-free personal allowance (simply means what you can earn before you start paying tax, and truly feel like a real adult) has been increased by £650 to £12,500. This will come into effect April 2019.
- So my basic-rate taxpaying friends, from next April you will pay £1,205 less tax in 2019-2020 than 2010-2011. Lovely.
- Interestingly, Hammond has also increased the rate for the Higher Rate Threshold to £50,000 in April 2019. Meaning in 2019-2020 there will be 1 million fewer higher tax rate earners than 2015-2016. Kinda like Robin Hood for the rich, hey?
Who here enjoys a good drink?
- Alcoholic beverages I mean! The lucky ones who take a liking to a chilled pint, cider and spirits will cheer as duty charges remain frozen. This means prices will not adjust to inflation. I mean, you are only saving 2p on a pint, but every little helps.
- I can’t say the same for wine and white cider lovers. Those who enjoy a cheeky bottle or two will see prices increase in line with the Retail Prices Index inflation. White cider will also increase, however, I’m not too sad about this. Were you even a student if you didn’t get catastrophically pissed on a field?
- For the smokers, again I come with bad news. Not only will tobacco increase with inflation* with an additional 2%. So, wait for it, a pack of 20 cigs will cost you £10. Maybe getting blasted on a Friday night smoking away like Dot Cotton isn’t so much of a good idea anymore.
Good news for mature students!
- People aged 26-30 will all be eligible for a digital railcard, granting them a ⅓ of most rail trail! Perfect for all the mature learners out there. If this doesn’t apply to you, maybe your older brother, sister or a friend will enjoy it!
Schools will receive more funding
- Schools are expected to receive £400 million, which is known as an ‘in year bonus’. This will be used to cover some of the expenses that schools are struggling to pay for at the moment, such as equipment, maintenance etc. Although, this may seem like a whopping sum of money intended to really give the education system boost it so desperately needs, they need in fact around £2 billion funding nationwide.
- Each primary school will receive £10,000 and £50,000 to each secondary school.
- If you are still in school and thinking YES they are going to invest in a three-floor sleeping area then, unfortunately, you are thinking wrong. Philip Hammond's ‘kind gesture’ was dismissed by many, especially those in the education sector as the sheer problem schools face will simply not be resolved with this funding. Hammond responded saying schools can buy a couple of whiteboards or some computers. Will, that truly help the situation?
So to conclude, for Christmas this year why not buy your Mum & Dad a nice cold pint?
Megan Bryant is an Online Marketer at StudentJob UK. Looking for a job to fund your student lifestyle? Register for your free candidate profile now.