Autumn Statement: The key points

POLITICS-Statement-173405

- Credit: PA

Chancellor George Osborne updated Parliament on the state of the economy and introduced a series of measures during today's Autumn Statement.

• GROWTH

The UK is the fastest growing economy in the G7, up 8pc over this Parliament.

GDP growth forecasts for 2014 is upgraded from 2.4pc a year ago and 2.7pc in March to 3pc.

The economy will grow by 2.4pc in 2015, followed by 2.2pc, 2.4pc, 2.3pc and 2.3pc in the following four years


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Unemployment is also set to fall to 5.4pc in 2015, while inflation is predicted to be 1.5pc in 2014, falling to 1.2pc in 2015.

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• STAMP DUTY

The chancellor announced a reform of residential property stamp duty so rates fall only to that party of the property price that falls within each band.

This means buyers will pay 0pc on the first £125,000, then 2pc on the portion up to £250,000

It will rise to 5pc up to £925,000, then 10pc up to £1.5m - 12pc on anything above that.

Those buying a £300,000 home would have paid £9,000 and will now pay £5,000.

This will see stamp duty cut for 98pc of homebuyers.

• TAX

The tax free allowance will be raised to £10,600 next year with the higher tax rate band raised to £42,385.

When someone dies, their husband or wife will be able to inherit their ISA and pension tax free.

Limit on saving in New Isas to rise to £15,240 and Isas to be inherited tax free.

The inheritance tax exemption will cover aid workers who lose their lives dealing with humanitarian emergencies.

National Insurance on young apprentices to be abolished.

Hospice charities, search and rescue and air ambulance to be granted VAT refunds.

• TRAVEL

Fuel duty has been frozen again.

Air passenger duty for children aged under 12 will be abolished from next year, and for children under 16 in 2016.

Mr Osborne also announced that airlines were going to be required to list on tickets just how much of the cost had gone on fuel surcharges.

• DEFICIT

The deficit has been halved since 2010.

Borrowing is predited to fall from £97.5bn in 2013 to 14 to £91.3bn in 2014 to 15.

By 2019 to 20, it is expected that Britain will have a surplus of £23bn.

The remainder of the World War One debt will be fully repaid.

UK's net payments to European Union to fall by about £1 billion this year and next year and decline in real terms over the next five years.

• WELFARE

There will be a two-year freeze in working-age benefits, while migrants will lose unemployment benefits if they have 'no prospect' of work after six weeks.

Welfare spending to be £1bn lower than forecast in March.

• HEALTH AND EDUCATION

There will be an extra £2bn every year for the NHS until 2020.

Employment Allowance of £2,000 to be extended to carers.

GP services will get a boost of £1.2bn in extra funds from bank foreign exchange manipulation files.

For the first time there will be £10,000 loans for postgraduate students studying for masters.

• BUSINESS

Business rates will be reviewed, with a report pending for 2016.

Inflation-linked increase in business rates capped at 2pc and discount for shops, pubs and cafes increased by 50pc to £1,500.

Research and development tax credit will be increased for small and medium-sized firms.

The theatre tax break will be extended to orchestras, with a new tax credit with children's TV producers.

The government will expand tax relief on business investment in flood defences.

• EMPLOYMENT

Half a million new jobs created over the last year, with numbers claiming unemployment benefit falling by 23pc and young people on long-term jobless benefit almost halving.

Unemployment forecast at 5.4pc next year before settling at 5.3pc.

Regular earnings growth is now faster than inflation, at 4pc for those in full-time work for over a year.

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