Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Busy Person’s Guide to the Autumn Statement 2013

On Thursday 5th December the Chancellor George Osborne revealed the Government’s plans for the next few years in his 2013 Autumn Statement. While in recent years these statements have been the source of much doom and gloom, this one was somewhat of a breath of fresh air.

The statement comprised of a variety of sections including tax, pensions, transport, housing and employment. Throughout this article we are going to break down each of the sections and give you a brief overview of the most important aspects of the statement. 


Tax


As of April 2014 the personal tax allowance will increase to £10,000 meaning you’ll be able to earn an additional £560 more per year without being taxed. The higher rate (40%) tax threshold will also be increasing 1% in 2014 and 2015.

The good news doesn’t stop there; the government have asked Local Authorities to freeze council tax rates in 2014. Naturally, it is up to the Local Authorities to decide whether or not they adhere to the government’s request however there is currently no evidence to suggest that they won’t. The chancellor also revealed plans to crackdown on tax evasion, avoidance and fraud which will raise £9bn over the course of the next 5 years. 


Pension


Unsurprisingly (due to the growing life expectancy in the UK) the state pension age is set to increase to 68 in the mid-2030s and again to 69 in the mid-2040s.

This was greeted with news that the basic state pension will increase 2.7% as of April next year. Unfortunately though having broken this 2.7% increase down, it only converts to £2.95 per week! 


Transport & Motoring


The stand-out news in the transport section of the Chancellors statement is that the scheduled 2p per litre rise in fuel has been scrapped; news that has been welcomed by motorists nationwide.

It was also revealed that the old fashioned paper tax disks will be replaced with an online system from October of 2014. This also opens up the chance to pay tax via monthly direct debit along with the traditional annual or biannual payments. 


Housing


The housing section was largely dominated by the Help to Buy scheme and the Governments plans to push renewable energy in the UK.

The chancellor echoed the Prime Ministers praise for the Help to Buy scheme and announced the mortgage providers Virgin and Aldermore will be joining the scheme later this month. This was accompanied with news of a £1billion funding line to help ‘stalled housing developments’ move forward; ultimately increasing the amount of new builds available.

In a hope to boost the amount of homes employing renewable energy sources the government is launching various grants and schemes. They are firstly looking to offer £1,000 energy efficiency grants for home buyers which will be available subject to passing home inspections. They will also be targeting private landlords by offering various incentives to improve the efficiency of their properties. 


Employment & Education


In a hope to further boost employment rates, the Government is targeting school leavers and young adults by offering various schemes to help them get their foot in the door.

The first is a scheme in association with Job Centre Plus that looks to help those with few qualifications get on the employment ladder. Alongside this 20,000 more apprenticeship opportunities will also be created in the next two years.

The Chancellor also announced plans to put a stop to those spending large amounts of time on unemployment benefits. These plans state that 18 to 21 year olds will face losing their benefits after 6 months if they don’t take a work placement. 


Conclusion


As you can see the general outlook is positive. When you pair this with the fact that growth is up, employment is up and the deficit is down – the next few years could bright for the UKs economy.

This article has been written by Jason Scott on behalf of UK Credit Limited. For more up-to-date finance related news and guides visit https://www.guarantorloansonline.co.uk/Blog.


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