Budget 2017: What You Need to Know

Philip Hammond Budget 2017

Forget Thanksgiving, forget Black Friday — hell, forget Christmas. Today — the 22nd November — was the best day of the year (for politics nerds) because our Right Dishonourable friend, Philip Hammond, delivered his second Budget as Chancellor. At least, I think he did. It was hard to tell between all the cringey I’m a Celeb and cough sweet jokes.

Here at The Nopebook, we believe firmly in making politics understandable and accessible, so whether you missed the Budget, didn’t understand the Budget (don’t worry, I zoned out entirely when they started talking about VAT), or just want a little recap of the Budget, here are some of the highlights from Hammond’s speech.


The Chancellor was keen to stress that this Budget was about more than just Brexit — presumably ‘cos it’s hard to Budget for something when you have no idea what the f**k it actually means.

He did, however, announce that £3bn has been set aside for the next two years to ‘prepare’ Britain for Brexit. ‘Cos that’s what we need. More money spending on Brexit.


Perhaps unsurprisingly from a Tory government, Budget 2017 was sorely lacking in social care, and what was mentioned was seriously underwhelming.

Despite experts claiming that the NHS needs another £4bn of funding, Hammond only promised us £2.8bn, with £350m of that being invested immediately to help the NHS deal with this winter. Yeah, that’s £350m for the whole of winter, not £350m a week like some people promised…


Education got a fleeting mention, and in a shocking turn of events I actually agreed with Hammond when he talked about investing in distance learning digital skills courses.

He also promised sixth-form colleges and schools £600 for every new pupil taking Maths at A Level, and proposed a £40m teacher training fund for underperforming schools in England.

Universal Credit

Despite Labour’s calls to ‘pause and fix’ Universal Credit, the Tories have chosen to instead spend £1.5bn on ‘addressing concerns’ about the delivery of the benefits system. This money will be spent on scrapping the seven-day waiting period for processing claims, and increasing the repayment period for advances from six to twelve months. Sadly, I don’t think that will be enough.


Housing got a lot of attention in this Budget, presumably as part of the Tories’ desperate bid to appeal to younger people.

But instead of raising the living wage and lowering the actual cost of houses, Hammond spent most of his speech talking about building new homes.

He also announced that he would be scrapping Stamp Duty for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000, as if the reason young people aren’t buying houses is because they can’t raise the extra 500 quid to pay Stamp Duty, and not because they can’t afford to save 20 grand for a deposit. Nice one.

There was also a lot of talk about VAT (no idea) and growth forecasts (much lower than predicted in March), but the real star of the Budget 2017 was the freeze on duty for beer, cider, and most spirits.

So, the poor will still be poor and the homeless will still be homeless, but whiskey will be a couple of quid cheaper. Hurrah!

Image by Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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