Chancellor George Osborne delivered his 2013 Autumn Statement at 11.15am on 5 December 2013. Here’s our summary of the key announcements.
• Growth in 2013 revised upwards to 1.4%; then 2.4% next year, followed by annual rises of 2.2%, 2.6%, and 2.7%.
• Britain growing faster than any other western economy.
• No deficit by 2018-19.
• Deficit falls to 6.8% in 2013-14; followed by 5.6% in 2014-15; then 4.4%, 2.7%, and 1.2% in 2017-18.
• Borrowing forecasts: £111 billion in 2013-14 (lower than the March Budget forecast of £120 billion), then £96 billion next year, followed by £79 billion in 2015-16 and £51 billion the year after.
• Total number of jobs to rise by 400,000 in 2013.
• Number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell by 200,000 in last six months.
• Unemployment to fall to 7% in 2015.
• Maths and English tests and training to become mandatory for 18-21-year-olds hoping to claim unemployment benefit.
• State pension to rise by a further £2.95 a week from April 2014.
• An increase to the state pension age will be brought forward. It will increase to 68 in 2030s and 69 in the late-2040s.
• As announced in the March 2013 Budget, the income tax personal allowance will rise to £10,000 from April 2014.
• From April 2015, new married tax allowance will allow married couples and civil partners to transfer £1,000 of their unused allowance to the higher earner.
• New measures to combat tax evasion.
• No increase in Corporation Tax.
• Government will prioritise offshore wind power over onshore.
• Tax allowance for shale gas investors.
• House prices forecast to be 3.1% lower in 2018 than they were at their peak in 2007.
• Funding for Lending scheme focus shifted away from property to small businesses.
• Business rate relief scheme extended for a year.
• Increases to business rates capped at 2% a year from 2014. Plus, firms can pay in 12 monthly instalments.
• Employers will no longer have to pay NI contributions for staff aged under-21.