Chancellor George Osborne has updated MPs on the state of the economy and the government’s future plans in his Autumn Statement.
Britain’s economic plan is working, but the job is not yet done – we need to keep taking the difficult decisions to secure the economy for the long-term.
The biggest risk to Britain comes from those who would abandon the plan – and borrow and spend more. Our long-term plan will secure a responsible recovery for all. The key points are outlined below.
TAXES AND ALLOWANCES
Employer National Insurance contributions are to be scrapped on 1.5 million jobs for young people.
The personal income tax allowance will rise to £10,000 from April 2014, and then increase from 2015-16 by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation.
A married couples and civil partners tax break, which is set to cost about £700m a year, is proposed to start in April 2015, enabling people to transfer £1,000 of their income tax allowance to their partners.
Business rates in England to be capped at 2% rather than linked to RPI inflation, with some retail premises in England to get a discount. Businesses moving into vacant high-street properties will have their rates cut by 50%.
From April, a new tax relief is to be introduced for investment in social enterprises and new social impact bonds.
JOBS AND TRAINING
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits is down 200,000, with unemployment now forecast to fall from 7.6% this year to 7% in 2015 much earlier than expected.
Unemployment is then expected to fall further to 5.6% by 2018.
Total number of jobs to rise by 400,000 this year and 3.1 million jobs predicted to be created by 2019.
A boost in the government’s start-up loans scheme will aim to help 50,000 more people start their own businesses.
Export finance capacity available to support British businesses will be doubled to £50bn.
Petrol taxes stay frozen – a planned rise of 2p per litre by the last Labour Government for next year is to be scrapped.
Regulated train fares will rise in line with inflation, not at 1% above RPI as planned.
The tax disc to show motorists have paid vehicle excise duty is to be replaced with an electronic system.
EDUCATION AND FAMILIES
An extra 30,000 places at English universities will be created in 2014-15. The following year, the current cap on student numbers will be abolished entirely.
Science, technology and engineering courses will receive increased funding, and a new science centre in Edinburgh University is to be named after Prof Peter Higgs, the discoverer of the Higgs boson particle.
The proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds applying to university is up.
An additional 20,000 apprenticeships are to be funded over the next two years.
All pupils at state schools in England in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are to get free school lunches from next September, at an estimated cost of £600m a year.
BENEFITS AND PENSIONS
The state pension age is to increase to 68 in the mid-2030s and to 69 in the late 2040s. In April 2014, the state pension will rise by £2.95 a week.
Overall welfare spending is to be capped.
Anyone aged 18 to 21 claiming benefits without basic English or Maths will be required to undertake training from day one or lose their entitlement.
People unemployed for more than six months to start a traineeship, take work experience or do a community work placement or lose benefits.
The government hopes £1bn in loans will boost housing developments in Manchester and Leeds, among other sites.
Councils are to sell off the most expensive social housing and rundown urban housing estates to be regenerated, and workers who live in council houses are to be given priority on housing lists if they need to move home to find a job.
The forecast for economic growth this year is 1.4%, then 2.4% next year and then maintained at 2.2%, 2.6%, and 2.7% for the next 3 years.
The UK’s “underlying” deficit – has been revised down by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
Borrowing is expected to come in at £111bn for this year, falling in 2014-15 to £96bn, then down to £79bn in 2015-16, £51bn the year after and £23bn the year after that. By 2018-19 there should be a £2bn surplus.
Departmental budgets will be cut by about £1bn next year and the year after to help cut the deficit.
Tax allowances aiming to encourage investment in shale gas to cut tax on early profits by 50%.
More investment in “quantum technology”, which involves attempting to apply the strange behaviour of materials on a tiny scale to practical purposes, is promised.
The government’s pledge to spend 0.7% of gross national income on international development is to be met without an increase to the current aid budget.
3 thoughts on “Autumn Statement: At-a-glance summary of key points”
Come off it Ewan. If we’d had billy red face Balls in charge he’d have borrowed even MORE! It was Labour who left the message saying they’d spent everything.
I met Mr Brown at one of the debates and he came across as a straight forward chap, a rather ‘normal’ guy, but lacking in what I could only describe as ‘substance’ in terms of policies – Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg oozed public education smarm. If there was ever an argument for bringing back Grammar Schools those two twonks prove it. I’d put any of my ex grammar pals who run there own companies up against them in a debate and delight in watching them blabber. Mr Blair said “education education” boy was that a joke. Pity his rhetoric wasn’t matched by his integrity – He took us into 2 wars that have cost this country so so much in so many ways – and now he makes millions of pounds bragging how great he was “I simply say” was one of his pet phrases. If it only he had been. Tell his mate Mr Bush to shove Saddams war elswhere (give Mrs T her due she did it with his Dada) – pity Mr Brown did’t bury him under the metaphorical patio at number 11. Better still he could have jumped into the hole with him.
Having been thro’ far to many elections you get fed up with hearing how ‘we’ (the taxpayers who actually pay taxes) have to “tighten our belts” just get used to it – As Churchill in essence once said Democracy has it’s flaws but it’ll do untill we find something better – then he went and died ohh bugger!
We are borrowing billions, hundreds of billions, every year for the last three years Gidiot has been at the wheel. Billions more than he and his puppies at the OBS said there would be.
All I’m asking David to do is justify his claim that getting some growth many years after the slump proves that the pain has been worth it.
PS If Labour had won Darling would still be chancellor not Balls
Unlike you to regurgitate central office propaganda. I suspect that those responsible for the 2015 Conservative Election strategy, fearful for Bury North, are asking you to raise your profile and rub the awkward corners off it.
Please explain what evidence there is that supports your claim that the strategy is working. We are still borrowing Billions more than Gideon predicted, exports are down, manufacturing is struggling more than the JCB photo opps would have us believe. Our current nearly back to trend growth is based on consumer debt, not of the thriving private sector.
If the coalition had not crashed the growing economy they inherited, what would growth have been over the last 3 years, what would have happened to revenues, to the benefits bill etc. Are you seriously saying that we would still be having a £111 billion deficit. We are supposed to have had a structural deficit of £30 billion, but it will take nearly 10 years from the crash to get back to that.
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