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Three Budget benefits for Millennials

Posted on 2017-12-19

Three Budget benefits for Millennials

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, delivered the Autumn Budget towards the end of November.

The announcements focussed on healthcare, pensions and taxes, alongside a notable focus on helping Britain's young people.

Stamp duty cut for first-time buyers

Saving his most headline-grabbing policy until last, Philip Hammond delivered somewhat of a surprise when he announced that stamp duty would be cut for first-time buyers. The new system, which was introduced immediately, is estimated to cut stamp duty for 95% of all first-time buyers.

At a time when many Millennials and private renters are saving up to be able to own a property in the future, this news comes as a very welcome boost.

What else do you need to know?

  • First-time buyers purchasing homes priced up to £300,000 will no longer have to pay stamp duty.
  • There will be no stamp duty payable on the first £300,000 of properties costing up to £500,000 (with 5% tax due on the portion of the price between £300,000 and £500,000).
  • Normal stamp duty rates will apply for those buying properties priced over £500,000.
  • It is estimated that 80% of first-time buyers will no longer pay stamp duty.
  • The new system has been introduced immediately in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (it does not apply in Scotland for now).

The introduction of the Millennial Railcard

Anyone turning 25 over the next few months will have breathed a sigh of relief when details of the Government's plans to introduce a Millennial Railcard were announced.

The new card, which is very similar to its 16-25 counterpart, will be available for 26-30-year-olds and will offer a third off rail fares.

The first 10,000 Railcards have been offered on a trial basis to residents in East Anglia, with the scheme set to go nationwide in early 2018.

According to Government figures, the average 16-25 Railcard holder saves £190 a year so this extension represents a great opportunity for those over 25 to save some money when travelling.

What else do you need to know?

  • The Millennial Railcard will be operated through an app.
  • There will be no option to purchase a three-year Railcard.
  • It will cost £30 each year.
  • You will be able to purchase a one-year Railcard up until the day before your 31st birthday.
  • The Railcard will offer discounts on all off-peak, standard anytime and standard advance fares.
  • Railcard holders will be subject to a £12 minimum fare if travelling before 10am Monday to Friday.

You can find out more about the Millennial Railcard here.

Student loans: no more overpaying

For many graduates, paying back their student loan is considered a standard part of their monthly outgoings. However, many workers who come to the end of their repayment schedule are overpaying what they owe to the Student Loans Company.

This is because those who finish paying their loan in the middle of a financial year continue to have deductions taken from their pay packet until the end of that year. The reason for this: the Student Loans Company has not been able to access the relevant data regularly enough/on a regular enough basis.

Philip Hammond has now announced that by April 2019, HMRC and the Student Loans Company will implement a system which regularly shares the relevant data and ensures loan repayments are stopped automatically at the right time.

What else do you need to know?

  • According to official figures, in 2015/16 86,000 graduates overpaid, with an average overpayment of £592 per person.
  • To avoid overpaying - until the new system is introduced - graduates are advised to finish repaying via direct debit.
  • Graduates who have overpaid have had to claim back the money themselves, which is often an arduous process.

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