Autumn Statement

UK growth forecasts

• Growth forecast in 2013 upgraded from 0.6pc to 1.4pc. Prediction in 2014 upgraded from 1.8pc to 2.4pc. Then 2.2pc, 2.6pc, 2.7pc and 2.7pc.

• Unemployment forecast to fall from 7.6pc this year to 7pc in 2015, then 5.6pc in 2018.

Government finances

• Underlying deficit expected to be 6.8pc this year, against 7.5pc forecast in March. This is predicted to fall to 5.6pc next year, 4.4pc in 2015/16, 2.7pc in 2016/17 and 1.2pc in 2017/18.

• In 2018/19, the OBR expects a small surplus – a year earlier than expected.

• Borrowing: £111bn this year, £9bn less than predicted in March. Then £96bn, £79bn £51bn and £23bn. Set to borrow £73bn less over the period, or £2,500 per household.

• The Autumn Statement will be fiscally neutral over the forecast period – no giveaways.

Tax 

Largest package of measures to clamp down on tax avoidance in this Government. Predicted to raise £9bn over next five years.

• Capital gains tax on future gains for foreign owners of residential property in UK.

• Bank levy raised from 0.13pc to 0.156pc from January 2014. Will raise £2.7bn next year and £2.9bn in 2015/16.

• New £1,000 transferable tax allowance for married couples from April 2015 will be “just a start”. Allowance to be automatically uprated in line with income tax personal allowance.

• Film tax relief scheme to be made more generous, with consideration of extending it to regional theatre.

• Stamp duty on exchange-traded funds to be abolished.

Welfare

• New cap on welfare spending, state pension and “cyclical” jobseeker’s allowance excluded.

• State pension will rise by £2.95 a week. Pensioners will be £800 better off over the five-year period, and pensioners will be able to make voluntary national insurance contributions to improve pensions in later life.

• Pension age “has to keep in line with life expectancy”. People should spend a third of adult life in retirement. That means increasing the pension age to 68 in mid-2030s and 69 in late-2040s.

Transport

• 2014’s fuel duty rise will be cancelled. Petrol 20p a litre cheaper than it would have been under Labour.

• Train fares flat in real terms next year, cancelling a 1pc above-inflation rise.

Energy

• New tax allowance to encourage investment in shale gas, halving tax rates on early profits.

Housing

• Aldermore and Virgin will join the Help to Buy Scheme

• New loans worth £1bn to unlock housing development 

Jobs/Education 

• Employer national insurance scrapped for under 21s, affecting 1.5m jobs.

• An additional 20,000 apprenticeships will be be created

• Cap on student numbers abolished. New loans will be paid for by selling off the student loan book.

Businesses

• Increase on business rates capped at 2pc. £1,000 off for small shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants. 50pc relief for for taking on empty retail properties.

• The startup loans scheme will be expanded, and is predicted to serve 50,000 extra people.

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