The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 5th December 2013 – Summary of Key Points

cropped-citiscape-img02772-20121027-1405.jpgThe Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has today delivered his Autumn Statement which sets out his view of where the country economy is and what he has planned over the next few years. Please read the disclaimer below.

Summary of Key Points

Chancellor Osborne stated that the underlying deficit is expected to be down to 4.4% in 2018/19

The Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) does not expect a deficit by 2018/19

Government borrowing will fall to £96 bn in 2014

Government set to borrow £73bn less than previously forecast

Debt is expected to be 75.5 % of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year – £18bn lower than forecast

The Chancellor confirmed his belief that the Structural Deficit has fallen from 8.7%

OBR has forecast that the Euro area will shrink by 0.4% this year

The Welfare Budget is to be capped – however the State Pension will be excluded from the welfare cap

Total Jobs will have increased by 400,000 this year

The 2014 growth forecast is up to 2.4% from 1.8%

The Chancellor has announced that the State Pension will rise by £2.95 per week with effect from April 2014 – This pension increase will mean that pensioners will be £800 per year better off

The State Pension Age will increase to be 68 in the mid 2030s and 69 in late 2040s

Pensioners will be able to make Voluntary National Insurance (NI) Contributions

Tax and fraud measures will raise more than £9bn over the next 5 years

In 2015, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) will be introduced on the sale of homes and residences by non-residents

The Bank levy is set to rise to 1.56% from January 2014 – this will give rise to £2.7bn in 2014/15

Chancellor Osborne has raised the issue of housing supply  and the belief that we must build more homes

He announced £1bn of loans to unblock large housing developments

The Chancellor re-iterated that the Help to Buy scheme is designed to help people to buy their home

The Chancellor also announced that the Bank of England is set to have additional powers to act to prevent the destructive effect of over zealous or badly underwritten lending

OBR forecasts house prices will be 3.1% lower in 2018 than the 2007 peak

The Chancellor has announced Free School Meals to every primary school child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

He also announced a new system whereby 18 to 21 year olds without a job will be required to undertake training or lose benefits

He announced an additional 200,000 higher apprentices over next two years

The Cap on student numbers is to be abolished

There will be 300,000 more student places in higher education

New loans are planned to be financed by selling any old student loan book

Chancellor Osborne stated that the UK has one of the most competitive tax systems

Taking steps to make it even more competitive

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): stamp duty to be abolished for shares purchased within an ETF

The Chancellor announced the introduction of Social Impact Bonds to proved tax relief for investment schemes investing into social projects and enterprises

Business Rate relief is to be extended another year

The Business rates increase is to be capped at 2.0% from April 2014

Rate re valuations are to be done by July

Businesses will be able to pay rates in 12 monthly instalments

Discounts on Business Rates for small retailers in England

A new Transferable Tax Allowance will be introduced for married couples [although at this stage it is unclear who and how many will benefit]

There will be a Green Levy reduction which will help cut the average energy bill by about £50

The next Fuel Duty increase is to be cancelled

Petrol taxes will stay frozen instead of the annual 2% rise next year

This is the end of our Summary – we hope you find this précis useful – there will undoubtedly be further comment from various sources throughout the day and coming week(s). Please read the Disclaimer below.

PLEASE NOTE – This Summary of Key Points has been collated in “Quick Real Time” in order to provide you with as quick an update as possible – so inevitably there may be some errors – we cannot guarantee complete accuracy and therefore you should independently verify all information and you should not rely on any information summarised here as a basis for making any decisions for action transaction or inaction.

You should seek and take appropriate relevant and timely independent advice before entering into any understanding agreement or other contract or obligation, whether or not you believe it to be binding upon you or that which you represent.