Budget 2018 - 10 things you need to know

The hard work of the British people is paying off.

Conservatives' careful fiscal management and solid economic recovery mean that austerity is coming to an end.

Austerity is coming to an end – but discipline remains.

That is the clear dividing line in British politics today: a Conservative Government taking a balanced approach and getting debt down.

Or Jeremy Corbyn whose version of ending austerity would be to raise taxes to the highest level in peacetime history and send debt soaring – taking us back to square one.

Here's 10 things you need to know from the Budget:

1. We're cutting income tax for 32 million people

We will raise the Personal Allowance to £12,500 and Higher Rate Threshold to £50,000 one year early, saving a typical basic rate taxpayer £130 compared to 2018-19 and £1,205 compared to 2010-11.

This is fulfilling our promise to cut income tax one year early, so people keep more of what they earn.

2. We're increasing the National Living Wage

It will rise by nearly 5%, from £7.83 to £8.21. For some of the lowest-paid full-time workers, it will deliver a £690 annual pay rise, taking the total annual pay rise since its introduction to £2,750.

3. We're delivering the biggest cash boost in the NHS' history

Funding for our NHS will go up by £20.5 billion a year as part of our long-term plan – and we're delivering it without any rise in personal tax.

And for NHS mental health services, we're committing £2 billion a year. This means more mental health ambulances, increased community support and comprehensive support at every major A&E by 2024.

4. We're backing British high streets

We're doing this by cutting business rates by one third for two years.

That will mean saving up to 90% of all shops up to £8,000 each year.

Local high streets will benefit from £675 million to improve transport links, re-develop empty shops as homes and offices and restore and re-use old and historic properties.

And we will also introduce a 100% relief for public toilets, benefiting many town and parish councils.

5. We're supporting people on Universal Credit by increasing work allowances

We're investing an additional £1.7 billion per year to benefit working families on Universal Credit. We will increase the work allowance – the money families can earn before losing benefits – by £1,000, worth £630 per year to those households.

6. We're increasing funding for our schools

That's £400 million more for schools this year. We're allocating £10,000 to the average primary and £50,000 to the average secondary to help schools buy the equipment they need.

7. A new 2% digital services tax

This will make sure large digital firms pay a fair share of tax to support our public services.

From 2020, large social media platforms, search engines and online marketplaces will pay 2% on the revenues they earn which are linked to UK users.

8. Beer, cider and spirits duty frozen

We're freezing beer, cider and spirits duty for another year, supporting patrons of the Great British pub and saving people 2p on a pint of beer and 30p on a bottle of Scotch or gin.

9. We're helping more people get on the housing ladder

We are abolishing stamp duty retrospectively for first-time buyers of all shared ownership properties up to £300,000, helping more people to get a foot on the housing ladder.

We are putting an additional £500 million into the Housing Infrastructure Fund, unlocking thousands of new homes so more people have a decent place to call home.

Committing over £7.2 billion to a new Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to support 110,000 new homebuyers in England. The scheme will run for two years, targeted at first-time buyers with new regional property price caps.

Formally abolishing the Housing Revenue Account cap. We will abolish the cap that controls local authority borrowing for house building from 29 October in England. This will enable councils to increase building to around 10,000 homes per year.

10. Fuel duty frozen again

We're freezing fuel duty for the ninth year, saving the average car driver a cumulative £1,000 since April 2010.