So, the October 2017 Budget is out and as ever there’s always something that affects our Homes for Students UK student population.
Without further ado, here’s the craic …
Cigarettes and Alcohol
First up, there will be no increase on the duty on beer, cider and spirits, frozen until the Spring Budget, when there will be a 2p increase on a pint of beer and 1p increase in cider, although there will be an increase this term on some high-strength drinks, including some white ciders. Duty on a bottle of Scotch whisky will increase by 36p in March.
The chancellor also announced an additional duty on hand-rolling tobacco, on top of previously announced inflation plus 2% rise in tobacco duty.
Millennial Travel Card
Until this budget, a Young Persons Railcard (£30/yr) gave an approx 30% discount on non-peak rail travel (after 10 am) across the UK. Today, the Chancellor extended the age limit to 30 – not much use to many of our students, but certainly something for the future and a move that will benefit mature students and post-grads.
Whilst not directly levelled at the student population, the Chancellor’s decision to cut tax relief on the mortgage interest payments (starting April 2018) claimed by small, buy-to-let landlords could have a knock-on effect at the lower end of the student accommodation market. As smaller landlords feel ‘the squeeze’, rental prices could rise in 18-19 affecting those students on a very limited budget.