5 new law changes that could affect your family

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This year has seen several UK law developments that may have a direct effect on you and your family.

The following five examples are ones you may already be aware of but if you’re unsure how they’ll impact on you and your loved ones, read on.

  1. Minimum wage increase

This was one we knew was coming – the national living wage changes every April, the only uncertain part is by how much and who for.

For those aged 25 and over, a 30p increase to £7.50 per hour will come into effect, with a ten pence rise for 21-24-year-olds, to £7.05.

For under-18s, a rise from £4.00 to £4.05 will apply, while apprentices in training will receive £3.50, up from £3.40.

  1. Tougher smoking laws

In a bid to discourage ‘beginner’ smoking, the Government has introduced restrictions on various items, to protect younger people.

From May, cigarettes will no longer be available in packs of ten and rolling tobacco will be sold in packs weighing no less than 30grammes.

And menthol cigarettes – traditionally seen as a ‘way in’ to smoking – will be banned completely by May 2020, with the ‘phasing out’ starting soon.

  1. Car tax changes

Under the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) set out by George Osborne when he was chancellor, changes to car tax will apply from April onwards.

Only completely zero-emission vehicles will now be exempt, meaning even if your low emission petrol or diesel car is previously tax-free, a new one won’t be.

For cars with emissions, fees will be calculated based on CO2 in the first year of tax, then by type of vehicle in subsequent years.

It won’t affect vehicles registered before April but will definitely be something bear in mind the next time you come to buy a family car.

The full breakdown of vehicle tax changes is listed at gov.uk.

  1. Changes to free childcare

Good news for many parents but a worry for some local authorities when plans were announced – free childcare will be doubled for eligible 3-4-year-olds.

Starting in September, the current term-time allowance of 15 hours will be increased to 30 for families who qualify.

The aim of the changes is to enable more parents to be able to start (or return to) work without being hamstrung by crippling childcare charges.

  1. Child tax credit

Tax Credit and Universal Credit support will be limited to two children, with no inclusion for further children born after the 6th of April unless exceptions apply.

And families started after April 2017 will no longer qualify for Family Tax Credits, nor will the ‘first child’ element apply in the equivalent Universal Credit setup.

Various permutations will apply to individual circumstances, some relating to efforts made by parents to seek work.

More information on new UK law changes

If you’d like more specialist or in-depth information on any recent changes to the law in UK, contact a member of our team, who will be happy to help.