Chancellor George Osborne gave his final Autumn Statement speech before the next general election to parliament on Wednesday 3 December. This is our summary of the headline announcements for both businesses and individuals.
In his speech, the Chancellor reported that the UK has the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone and the financial deficit has been cut in half since 2010.
Against this backdrop, Mr Osborne said the “long term economic plan is working” but also that the “warning lights were flashing over the global economy”.
The headline announcements were:
- Small business rate relief has been doubled for another year. The Chancellor also announced a full review of the business rates system.
- A 25% tax on profits generated by multinational companies in the UK that are then moved offshore.
- Businesses will not have to pay national insurance contributions when they hire apprentices who are under 25.
- Research and development tax credit will be increased to 230% for small businesses and 11% for large firms.
- The personal tax allowance will increase to £10,600 a year from April 2015. The higher rate threshold will rise from £41,865 this year to £42,385 next year.
- The annual ISA allowance will increase to £15,240 a year from April 2015.
- ISA savings that are inherited by a surviving spouse from a deceased partner will retain their tax-free status.
- The 55% tax on unused inherited pension pots will be scrapped and will also apply to joint-life and guaranteed term annuities.
- Stamp duty on residential properties will be reformed so that rates only apply to the proportion of the property price that falls within each band. The rate will be 0% on the first £125,000, rising to 12% on prices above £1.5 million.
- The £30,000 annual charge for non-domiciles will remain but payments will increase for people who have been in the country longer.
A detailed guide to the Autumn Statement 2014 will also be available on our site on the morning of Thursday 4 December.