The Chancellor, George Osborne has delivered his 2014 Autumn Statement, his last one before the 2015 election!
When he stood up to deliver his Budget in March everything in his garden was rosy – or as rosy as the prevailing world economy would allow. Most of the UK economic indicators were moving in the right direction and it was generally agreed that the UK was recovering from the global recession more quickly than all of its major economic competitors.
Nine months on, however, as the Chancellor prepared to give his last Autumn Statement before the 2015 General Election, the picture was less healthy.
However yesterday, he wasted no time in accentuating the positives pointing out that the UK continued to grow faster than any other major economy. “We will stay the course,” he declared, “and stay on course for prosperity.” Plenty of problems remained and the Autumn Statement would not be a giveaway – in an echo of previous speeches, he promised to “back aspirations to save, work and own your own home.”
So the growth forecasts for the year, which had been revised upwards from 2.4% to 2.7% in the Budget speech, were now further revised up to 3%. The forecast was then for growth of 2.4% in 2015, 2.2% in 2016, 2.4% in 2017 and 2.3% in 2018/19. Inflation was expected to remain below the government’s target of 2% for the next three years.
Highlights of his statement are as follows:-
- Stamp Duty overhaul – to be payable on a progressive scale as is the case with income tax
- Increase in personal allowances to£10,600 from April 2015
- ISAs are to be transferable to a surviving spouse or civil partner tax free on death.
- New pensioner’s bonds from January 2015
- 55% pension death abolished from April 2015
- State pension increased by 2.5% as of April 2015
- No air passenger duty on children under 12 from 1st May 2015
- U-turn on proposals to introduce a single nil-rate Inheritance Tax band across multiple trusts
- New Pensioner’s Bonds
- Business rates cut and capped and extra help for the high street
- No NI contributions on Apprentices under 25
- Long term plans for infrastructure
- £7 billion to build a Northern Powerhouse
- Investment in Science & Technology
- R&D increase in rate of the SME scheme to 230% from April 2015
Robert Ellis commented:-
“This is great news for home buyers with the overhaul of stamp duty reducing the tax payable on most house purchases. The changes in the pensions death tax will be welcomed by many families and encourage pension contributions. The increase in research and development tax credits will benefit many businesses and the proposed new science park in Manchester will give a boost to the North West”
You can read full details of the 2014 Autumn Statement Overview we have prepared for you in the link.
Source Clients First