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How will the 2018 budget impact your sector?

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A rundown of updates that could affect you

At RHL we specialise in placing candidates with clients in multiple technical professional sectors from engineering consultancy to energy, property to automotive, manufacturing to transport (plus many more).

Arming yourself with up-to-date sector knowledge can help you set yourself apart at interview stage, as well as in your day-to-day work. So here we run through some upcoming changes that might affect your professional area.

House Building and high streets boost

As well as announcements to help first time buyers onto the property ladder, there was positive news for residential house building itself: £500m is to be added to the Housing Infrastructure Fund to enable the construction of 650,000 new homes.

And thanks to new £653m investment deals with nine housing associations, there will be another 13,000 more new homes across England.

Smaller house builders will benefit with up to £1bn in investment, plus it was announced that local authorities in England can now borrow more to build housing.

Finally, a £765m Future High Streets Fund will give ailing high streets a boost, funding improvements to town centre infrastructure and turning unused high street shops or commercial buildings into housing.

Road and rail improvements

New road schemes over the next five years will be financed with an injection of £28.8bn to the government’s Major Roads Fund.

More immediately, local highway authorities will be able to tackle pot holes and set to bridge and tunnel repairs with £420m this financial year.

In the rail sector, the Northern Powerhouse Rail, set to connect Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool and Sheffield, gets £37m of extra development funding. Plus East West Rail’s central section, which links Oxford to Cambridge, will receive £20m.

Next-gen transport trials

The Autumn budget also included pertinent updates for sustainable and next-generation transport.

One was an announcement to extend the Transforming Cities Fund by £680m to £2.4bn for local sustainable transport including new buses, trams and cycling routes.

There will also be £90m set aside to trial next-generation methods of transport, for example self-driving shuttles and electric bikes. This will also help with the creation of new ‘future mobility zones’ to trial innovations like digital ticketing in three cities over three years from 2019. You can read more about our view on automotive engineering as an exciting hub for emerging technologies, here.

Plastic manufacturing tax

One headline for the manufacturing sector came with Philip Hammond’s pledge that the UK ‘will lead the world in the crusade to tackle plastic waste’.

To achieve this, the government plans to introduce a new tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic – understandably seen as a boost to the sustainable packaging industry. After a consultation period, the new tax will apply from April 2022.

Decommissioning oil rigs

Last year there were tax breaks for the North Sea oil and gas industry, and in the 2018 budget it was announced that these will stay at their current level.

The Chancellor had already spoken of his intention to make the UK the world’s leaders on decommissioning oil rigs - particularly in the North Sea. He used the latest budget to shore up these intentions with a consultation on making Scotland a ‘decommissioning expert hub’.


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