Autumn Statement 2013 - Business rates freeze among key measures in mini-budget
A number of measures were introduced by George Osborne in order to help small and medium-sized business and encourage exports, as he set out a platform to secure the economy for the long term.
A highlight announcement was an extension of the small business rate relief to April 2015, while a rise in general business rates will be capped at 2% from April 2014.
Furthermore the Chancellor announced small retail premises valued up to £50,000 would receive a £1,000 discount on their business rates, whilst a 50% new reoccupation relief would be available for those moving into empty high street premises.
Other key measures introduced for businesses included the removal of Employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from 1.5 million jobs for young people under 21, a doubling of the export finance capacity available to British businesses to £50 billion, and an extension in the enterprise allowance to help 50,000 new start-ups.
The Autumn Statement, effectively a mini-budget also saw a number of measures introduced for individuals.
As well as confirming the rise in the personal tax allowance to £10,000 from April 2014, the Chancellor also confirmed a married couples and civil partners' tax break to start in April 2015. This will allow £1,000 of personal allowance to be transferred from one spouse to another, assuming neither is a higher-rate taxpayer and one is earning less than the personal allowance.
As expected, it was also announced that capital gains tax will also be imposed from April 2015 on future gains made by non-residents who sell residential property in the UK.
Major changes to pensions were also announced, including plans to raise the state pension age to 68 in the mid-2030s and 69 in the late 2040s. In April 2014, the state pension allowance will rise by £2.95 a week.
The measures were announced by George Osborne as it was revealed growth forecasts for this year have more than doubled from 0.6% to 1.4%, and for 2014 revised up from 1.8% to 2.4%.
Author: James Cornthwaite FCA CTA
A former pupil at St Aidan’s C of E High School, James attended Blackpool Sixth Form College and Lancaster University, graduating in 2004, gaining BSc. first class honours. He joined Moore and Smalley, Preston in 2005 and qualified as a...
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