The 2014 Autumn Statement was dominated by debates on business tax and growth figures being revised upwards, with the Government insisting the economy is improving.
George Osbourne emphasised higher growth, falling inflation and economic security. However, there were also a number of other announcements with profound impacts on household spending and personal finances. We pull together the key points.
Stamp duty – The big announcement
The big announcement in this year’s Autumn Statement was a change in stamp-duty limits. Stamp duty – the rate of tax charged when you purchase a property – is determined by the cost of the property being purchase.
However, whilst the old limits were a flat cut off at £250,00, the new propsed limits are tiered.
Stamp-duty will be cut for 98% of homebuyers who pay it under a new tiered system. The new limits will be:
- 0% up to £125,000
- 2% up to £250,00
- 5% up to £925,00
- 10% on the remainder up to £1.5m
- 12% on everything above that
Pensions and ISAs
The Chancellor announced that the ISA limit to be increased to £15,240 from £15,000 next April.
What’s more, under the new rules if you die the ISA can be passed on to the next of kin retaining its ISAs tax-free status. This same is true of pensions, which will be allowed to be passed on to loved ones tax-free.
The main emphasis of the Autumn Statement was the wider economy. Mr Osborne stated:
- Unemployment was down 23% and that the economy was growing by 3%.
- The deficit, highlighting that the budget will move “out of the red and into the black” by 2019.
- The reason for this was cited as spending cuts, from welfare, state pensions and falling interest spending on debt.
- The Chancellor also announced that more spending cuts would occur in the next few years.
Promises for the future
The Chancellor also made a number of promises for the future, such as encouraging peer-to-peer lending:
- The government committed to freezing fuel duty in an attempt to keep oil prices low.
- The Chancellor will also abolish air passenger duty for children under-12 on economy flights from May 2015, and for under-16s from 2016.
- Government backed student loans up to £10,000 available to all young people undertaking post-graduate masters degrees.
What did you think?
What did you make of this year’s Autumn Statement? How will the changes impact you?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.