Why the Autumn Statement matters for 16 to 25-year-olds

Three young people talk to Newsbeat about how the statement is likely to affect them

The man in charge of the UK's finances, the chancellor Philip Hammond, has laid out his first spending plans since taking the job.

He's made his Autumn Statement to parliament.

It's a lot to get your head around, especially when you come up against numbers like £2 trillion.

So here are the bits that are likely to affect your life if you're aged between 16 and 25.

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Buffering will (in theory) be a thing of the past

The chancellor's pledged to spend more than £1bn on superfast broadband and 5G mobile networks.

He wants to invest in what's known as "full fibre" broadband, which offers download speeds of up to one gigabit per second.

It sounds good - but Andrew, who's 18 and a farmer on an island off the tip of Scotland, thinks the government's trying to run before it can walk.

"Our internet is rubbish. It went off on Thursday morning and we only got it back on Monday night," he says.

Andrew in Orkney

"Being on an island, we rely on the internet because we don't have good phone signal. I've got a girlfriend who lives on another island and trying to talk to her was a nightmare.

"There are only 300 folk on our island. We're trying to attract more people but businesses don't want to come because the internet is so bad.

"If they just got fast broadband everywhere first it would be better rather than spending all this money on superfast broadband.

"As for the 5G, it will go to people in cities and people like me will get cast aside again."

You'll be less likely to get ripped off on the housing ladder

The Chancellor says the government's going to build 40,000 new affordable homes at a cost of £1.4bn.

On top of this, he promised to ban letting agents from charging fees to tenants, something that's already illegal in Scotland.

At the moment if you sign up to rent a property in England, Wales and Northern Ireland you can be billed hundreds of pounds for things like reference, credit and immigration checks.

Now, in England, landlords are going to have to pay these fees instead. There are currently no plans to change the rules in Wales and Northern Ireland.


Summer, 24 and from Brighton, says house prices are so high that she'll be renting for the rest of her life.

She thinks Philip Hammond's announcement is bittersweet.

"Initially I thought it was a really great thing, but it got me thinking," she tells Newsbeat.

"If the cost of these fees is going to be passed on to the landlord, as Philip Hammond says, then surely after a while the landlords will think, 'Hang on a minute - why are we paying for this?'

"The easiest thing for them to do will be to raise the rents. And that's a big concern for renters."

You'll get paid more

The national minimum wage applies for all 16 to 25-year-olds. It was increased last month, but Philip Hammond says it's going to go up again in April 2017.

He's promised to:

  • increase the rate for 21 to 24-year-olds from £6.95 to £7.05 per hour
  • increase the rate for 18 to 20-year-olds from £5.55 to £5.60 per hour
  • increase the rate for 16 to 17-year-olds from £4.00 to £4.05 per hour
  • increase the rate for apprentices from £3.40 to £3.50 per hour

And to make that money go even further, less of your income will be taxed, so you keep more of your wages yourself. At the moment, £11,000 is tax-free, but this amount will rise to £12,500 by 2021.

This is all aimed at making life easier for Jams - a term given to people who are "just about managing" to get by.

This man, who's 26 and wants to remain anonymous, considers himself part of that group.

"All this rise is going to do is cause inflation," he tells Newsbeat. "Your wages will go up, but everything else will go up too. So I don't think we're actually going to notice the difference."

You'll spend less time stuck in traffic

Ben is 25 and works as an HGV driver. "The roads just can't keep up with the sheer volume of the traffic that's travelling on them," he says.

"Everybody know the pains of being stuck on the M25 [around London] for three hours."

Well it looks like Philip Hammond clearly feels the same - he's pledged £220m to tackle congestion on roads in England.

Ben, an HGV driver

Meanwhile, taxes on fuel will stay the same.

A tax on insurers is going up, though, which means that your car insurance might rise by a little bit.

One estimate says that your premium will increase by £10 per year.

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