10 New Laws for 2020 that might impact you

(1) 20th March: The right to request decent affordable broadband

Stuck with slow, expensive or even no broadband? The new standard of connection will be one that can deliver 10 megabits per second (Mbps) download speed and 1 Mbps upload speed for a cost of less than £45 per month. Paying more or getting less than this? You have the right to request better under the Universal Service Obligation.

(2) 1st April: Double council tax for empty homes

Currently if you are the owner of a property left vacant for 2 years or more, your Council Tax bill could be increased by 50%, from April this could be increased to a 100% charge – doubling your council tax bill.

(3) 1st April: Minimum wage rise

Although exact figures have not been released yet the current expectation is an increase for those aged 25 and over from £8.21 to £8.67 an hour, however, this will not be confirmed until the new Budget is released – which we expect in February.

(4) 6th April: National Insurance cut

From April, you will pay no national insurance contributions on the first £9,500 of your earnings – an increase from the current £8,632 – a rough saving of around £85 a year.

(5) 6th April: Families can inherit £1million tax free

Currently someone who dies can leave £325,000 of their estate tax-free with an additional tax-free amount that applies only to property. In April this extra portion for property rises to £175,000 – so homeowners can leave £500,000 tax free, and this doubles to £1m if a couple is married.

(6) 6th April: Student loan changes

Thresholds for repayment are rising. If you graduated between 1998 and 2011 you will now need to earn £19,390 up from £18,935. For more recent graduates they will be able to earn £26,575 a year before repayments begin, an increase from £25,725 this year.

(7) 8th April: State pension rise

The state pension is set to rise by 3.9% from April, more than double the current rate of inflation. Pensioners can expect an extra £6 per week or £312 a year on the New State Pension.

(8) April: Council tax to rise

Council-by-council rises will only be confirmed in February and March, however local authorities will have the power to raise council tax by up to 4% from April. This rise will be to tackle general spending and social care.

(9) 1st June: End of free TV Licences

From June TV Licences will only be free if you are over 75 and receiving Pension Credit – removing the benefit from around 3 million UK households.

(10) 5th October: State pension age

The age people can retire at has been rising for some years to bring women in line with men, and then both were increased from 65 to 66. From October you'll need to be at least 66 to get a state pension – no matter your gender. 

Blanchards Bailey

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