Philip Hammond has delivered his first Autumn Statement as chancellor.
These are the key points.
- Government finances forecast to be £122bn worse off in the period until 2021 than forecast in March's Budget;
- Debt will rise from 84.2% of GDP last year to 87.3% this year, peaking at 90.2% in 2017-18;
- Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts borrowing of £68.2bn this year, then £59bn in 2017-18, £46.5bn in 2018-19, £21.9bn in 2019-20 and £20.7bn in 2020-21.
The state of the economy:
- OBR growth forecast upgraded to 2.1% in 2016 - from 2.0% - then downgraded to 1.4% in 2017, from 2.2%;
- Forecast growth of 1.7% in 2018, 2.1% in 2019 and 2020 and 2% in 2021;
- Government no longer seeking a budget surplus in 2019-20 - committed to returning public finances to balance "as soon as practicable".
- Income tax threshold to be raised to £11,500 in April, from £11,000 now;
- Higher rate income tax threshold to rise to £50,000 by the end of the Parliament;
- Tax savings on salary sacrifice and benefits in kind to be stopped, with exceptions for ultra-low emission cars, pensions, childcare and cycling;
- National Living Wage to rise from £7.20 an hour to £7.50 from April next year;
- Employee and employer National Insurance thresholds to be equalised at £157 per week from April 2017;
- Insurance premium tax to rise from 10% to 12% next June;
- the government recommits to the business tax road map which sets out plans for major business taxes to 2020 and beyond, including cutting the rate of corporation tax to 17% by 2020, the lowest in the G20;
- to tackle tax avoidance, the government will strengthen sanctions and deterrents and will take further action on disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes;
- to ensure multinational companies pay their fair share, following consultation, the government will go ahead with reforms to restrict the amount of profit that can be offset by historical losses or high interest charges.
- Ban on upfront fees charged by letting agents in England "as soon as possible";
- £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas;
- £1.4bn to deliver 40,000 extra affordable homes;
- Fuel duty rise cancelled for seventh year in succession - at a cost of £850m, saving average car driver £130 and van driver £350 a year;
- For the oil and gas sector, the Carbon Price Support capped until 2020 and business rates reductions worth £6.7bn.
Posted on Nov 23, 2016.