YESTERDAY’S Budget announcement has been dubbed “business friendly” but did little to cause any great waves in the nation’s finances.

After moving the traditional Spring Budget to the Autumn, the Chancellor told ministers he wanted to build a Britain “fit for the future”.

Measures brought in to help families included a rise in personal allowance to £11,850 from April, a 33p rise in the minimum wage to £1.83, and changes to Universal Credit.

A new rail card will also be brought in for 26 to 30-year-old offering them savings of up to a third.

The main theme of the 65-minute budget was moves to address the nation’s housing shortage and home ownership struggles.

As part of this Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed Stamp Duty will be abolished for first time buyers on properties up to £300,000. He stated the Government will look to use compulsory purchasing laws going forward to free up land, currently being kept for commercial gain, for housing, and gave local authorities the power to charge council tax at 100% on vacant properties in a bid to encourage owners to bring them to the market.

Glynis Frew, chief executive of York-based national estate agency group Hunters Property said; “We are pleased with the reduction of stamp duty for first time buyers, although we would argue the duty needs an overhaul at all levels of the market.

“ First time buyers, downsizers and landlords have all suffered due to this extortionate cost, and sadly, small developers have been hit particularly hard by the 3 per cent second home levy.”

While mention was given to the Northern Powerhouse, little reference was made to York, other than a £30 million fund to trail new solutions to improve mobile and digital connective on the Transpennine rail route.

In a bid to help small businesses the Chancellor revealed the VAT threshold will remain at £85,000, alongside measures to move business rate increases in linen with CPI inflation rather than RPI, and plans to abolish the “staircase tax”.

Simon Williams, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Regional chairman, said: “With costs rising and consumer demand flagging, small firms in York and North Yorkshire will welcome today’s business-friendly Autumn Budget.

“It was good to see the Chancellor’s speech acknowledge our concerns about the VAT threshold. Dragging thousands of more small firms into the hugely complex VAT regime would have caused a significant drag on output at an already challenging time for businesses.

“In North Yorkshire we have been working particularly hard to bring an end to the staircase tax and this announcement will throw a lifeline to thousands of small firms that had no time to prepare for this completely unfair and retrospective levy.”