April 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The main points of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement:
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast for growth in 2013 has been upgraded from 0.6% to 1.4%, for 2014 it is upgraded from 1.8% to 2.4%.
The OBR forecast of growth for the four years from 2015 has been forecast at 2.2%, 2.6%, 2.7% and 2.7%.
Employment will rise by 400,000 in 2013, says the OBR. Unemployment forecast to fall from 7.6% this year to 7% in 2015, and 5.6% by 2018.
Public sector net borrowing is forecast to be 5.6% in 2014, then 4.4%, 2.7% and 1.2% in subsequent years, with a small surplus by 2018/19.
The Government will borrow £111 billion this year - £9 billion less than predicted in March. Borrowing to fall to £96 billion next year, then £79 billion, £51 billion and £23 billion in following years.
Debt is forecast at 75.5% of GDP this year, rising to 78.3% next year, and 80% in 2015, before falling to 79.9% in 2016, then 78.4% and 75.9% in following years.
State pension to rise by £2.95 a week from next April.
Pensioners will be offered the opportunity to make voluntary national insurance contributions to boost retirement income.
The new principle that people should spend one third of adult life in retirement implies increase in state pension age to 68 in mid-2030s and 69 in late 2040s.
A package of measures to tackle tax avoidance, evasion, fraud and error is expected to raise more than £9 billion over next five years.
Capital gains tax will be imposed on non-residents who sell residential property in the UK from April 2015.
A new £1,000 transferable tax allowance for married couples from April 2015 will be “just a start”.
Rolling back green levies will take an average £50 off energy bills.
A petrol tax rise of 2p a litre planned for next year is cancelled.
Employer national insurance contributions for workers aged under 21 will be removed.
Infrastructure plan includes agreement with Hitachi on next nuclear power station in Anglesey, deal with insurance industry to invest £25 billion and support for long-term investment in offshore wind.
The Chancellor announced commitment to invest in quantum technology, tax allowance halving taxes on early profits in shale gas, and a new science centre in Edinburgh University named after the discoverer of the Higgs-boson particle.
New loans worth £1 billion will be made available to unblock housing developments, including in Manchester and Leeds.
Financial resources will be provided to fund expansion of free school meals to all schoolchildren in reception, year one and year two.
Jobseekers aged 18 to 21 without basic maths or English will be required to undertake training in these skills or lose benefits.
Job seekers aged 18 to 21 will be required to start a traineeship, work experience or community work after six months or lose their benefits.
HM Revenue and Customs will fund employers directly for apprenticeships with an extra 20,000 higher apprenticeships over next two years.
An additional 30,000 student places will be offered next year, with the cap on student numbers abolished in 2015.
Export finance capacity for UK businesses will be doubled to £50 billion to help firms break into emerging markets.
The small business rate relief scheme will be extended for one year from April 2014. Inflation increase in business rates will be capped at 2% from April 2014.
New reoccupation relief will encourage the use of vacant town centre shops, halving rates for new occupants. There will be a discount on business rates worth £1,000 to every retail premises in England with rateable value up to £50,000.