Rural businesses will benefit from 100% tax relief, chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his first Autumn Statement this afternoon – a decision worth up to £2.9k a year to businesses.

Philip Hammond
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond – Sourced from Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The chancellor also announced a £6.7bn package to reduce business rates and £400m to improve small business finance through the British Business Bank.

The National Living Wage will be increased from £7.20 to £7.50 from April next year, as expected. “That is worth £500 a year to a full time worker,” said Mr Hammond.

The intended fuel duty increase will not go ahead – a decision worth £150 a year to an average car driver and £350 a year for an average van driver, the chancellor said.

He also said he wants to create a “world leader in 5G” and will invest more than one billion pounds in the UK’s digital infrastructure.

He also announced from 2018 there will only be an annual Spring Statement and the second budget announcement will no longer take place.  “I will not make significant changes twice a year just for the sake of it,” said Mr Hammond.