RegulationNov 25 2015

Autumn Statement: All the key announcements

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Autumn Statement: All the key announcements

In a major u-turn, chancellor George Osborne scrapped the £4.4bn tax credit cuts, delivered a Help to Buy scheme just for London and further tinkered with venture capital trusts in his Autumn Statement.

Here are all the key announcements, which saw speaker John Bercow have to calm one particualrly boisterous MP by saying “get a grip man and take up yoga”.

1) U-turn on tax credits

There will be no further cuts to tax credits.

The disregard will be £2,500 and no further changes will be made to the universal credit taper, or to the work allowances beyond those that passed through parliament last week.

The minimum income floor in universal credit will increase with the national living wage.

Despite the freeze, Mr Osborne said government will still achieve the promise£12bn per year of welfare savings and unveiled a raft of civil service cuts.

2) Further crackdown on tax evasion and changes for VCTs and CGT

New penalties will be introduced for the General Anti-Abuse Rule, action will be taken on disguised remuneration schemes and stamp duty avoidance.

Mr Osborne said he would also stop abuse of the intangible fixed assets regime and capital allowances.

Energy generation will now be excluded from the venture capital schemes, in a move Mr Osborne said was “to ensure that they remain well targeted at higher risk companies”.

Once digital tax accounts are in place in 2016, he said capital gains tax to be paid within 30 days of completion of any disposal of residential property.

3) Auto-enrolment changes and increases to state pension

The next two phases of contribution rate increases for auto-enrolment schemes will be aligned with the tax years.

Mr Osborne said he will increase the state pension age with life expectancy in order to maintain a triple lock on the value of the state pension.

Next year the basic state pension will increase by £3.35 to £119.30 a week. The full rate for the new state pension is set at £155.65.

The savings credit will be frozen at its current level where income is unchanged.

4) Forget Bob the Builder: George chooses to build

The housing budget is doubled to more than £2bn a year and 400,000 more affordable new homes are set to be built by the end of the decade.

Mr Osborne said: “That’s the biggest house building programme by any government since the 1970s.”

Almost half of the building will be starter homes, sold at 20 per cent off market value to young first-time buyers. A total of 135,000 will be Help to Buy: Shared Ownership.