Phillip Hammond's #Budget2017. What’s in it for small businesses and startups? Here are the key points for those of you too busy growing or launching a business to sit through an hour of bad jokes, jeering and all the stuff MP's get up to in the House of Commons on Budget Day.

The underlying message is that the UK economy as a whole is weaker than thought back in March. But the government have announced a few schemes to boost entrepreneurship and help start-ups to boost productivity. Is this enough? You decide.

The state of the economy

  • Growth forecast for 2017 downgraded from 2% to 1.5%
  • GDP downgraded to 1.4%, 1.3% and 1.5% in subsequent years before rising to 1.6% in 2021-22
  • Productivity growth and business investment also revised down.


  • VAT threshold for small business to remain at £85,000 for two years. Helps to keep a huge chunk of small businesses out of VAT.
  • £500m for 5G mobile networks, fibre broadband and artificial intelligence.
  • £540m to support the growth of electric cars, including more charging points.
  • A further £2.3bn allocated for investment in research and development.
  • Rises in business rates to be pegged to CPI measure of inflation, not RPI.
  • Staircase tax: businesses hit will have original bill reinstated.
  • Income tax to be applied from April 2019 on digital economy royalties relating to UK sales which are paid to a low-tax jurisdiction.
  • Does your startup hire someone on minimum wage? The “national living wage”. From April will rise 4.4% from £7.50 an hour to £7.83 


  • £3bn to be set aside over next two years to prepare UK for every possible outcome as it leaves.

Alcohol, tobacco, gambling and fuel

  • Tobacco will rise by 2% above Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation while the minimum duty on cigarettes introduced in March will also rise, as will duty on hand-rolled tobacco.
  • Duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders will be frozen.
  • Vehicle excise duty for diesel cars that do not meet latest standards to rise by one band in April 2018
  • Tax hike will not apply to van owners.
  • Existing diesel supplement in company car tax to rise by 1%.
  • Proceeds to fund a new £220m clean air fund.
  • Fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars scheduled for April 2018 scrapped.

Personal taxation

  • Tax-free personal allowance to rise to £11,850 in April 2018
  • Higher-rate tax threshold to increase to £46,350
  • Short-haul air passenger duty rates and long-haul economy rates to be frozen, paid for by an increase on premium-class tickets and on private jets

Health and social care

  • £10bn capital investment fund for hospitals


  • Long-term goal to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s
  • £44bn in government support, including loan guarantees, to boost construction skills
  • Review to look at ways of speeding up planning permission for new developments.
  • £28m for Kensington and Chelsea council to provide counselling services and mental health support for victims of the Grenfell fire and for regeneration of surrounding area.
  • One million new homes on the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor by 2050.


  • Helping to create the tech founders of the future? 8,000 new computer science teachers to be recruited at cost of £84m.
  • Second devolution deal for the West Midlands.
  • £1.7bn transport fund for city regions.
  • £2bn for Scottish government, £1.2bn for Welsh government and £650m for Northern Ireland executive.


Get the Virgin StartUp Business plan

The information contained in this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice on any matter.  Use of this website is at users own risk and is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship between Virgin StartUp and any user. Information displayed on this website is provided “as is” and Virgin StartUp does not provide any express or implied warranty or representation concerning the information, including but not limited to the accuracy or appropriateness of the information. Virgin StartUp recommend that users seek their own legal advice before taking (or refraining from) taking any action and do not accept any liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the information displayed on this website to the fullest extent permitted by law.