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Autumn Statement

 

Posted on 25 November 2015

Download our summary of the Autumn Statement here



The Government will build thousands more new homes, invest in roads and create one million jobs over the next five years, Chancellor George Osborne pledged in the Autumn Statement.

There was a promise too to fund three million more apprentices to tackle skills gaps in the economy, while financial support for key sectors such as aerospace and automotive were also maintained.

Further devolved powers and regional transport spending were pledged too - but there was nothing as meaty as the £11bn the Chancellor announced for transport in London.

Head of tax Jackie Hendley said: “From a Midlands perspective there were a lot of positives from the Autumn Statement.

“The devolution plans were discussed further and the start of construction on HS2 confirmed and the Chancellor mentioned that the Midlands is creating jobs three times faster than London and the South East.

“As expected, George Osborne also mentioned new measures against tax avoidance which seem to be aimed at getting businesses to look at tax efficiencies that suit their business model rather than changing their business model to suit the tax scheme.

“Adding 3% stamp duty on buy to let schemes, where investors may be purchasing second or third homes, and getting them to pay capital gains tax within 30 days of the sale of the property may be seen as attacking investors who are seeking tax efficiencies.”


Key points of 2015 Autumn Statement: At a glance

Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his first Autumn Statement as part of an all-Tory government.

Here are the key points of the Chancellor’s speech:

Tax Avoidance:

  • A continued focus on this area introducing greater penalties for avoidance
  • Moving tax payers away from “structured schemes” to commercial tax planning
  • Entrepreneurs relief where contrived structures are used
  • Some of the areas affected include: GAAR, Intangible FA, Capital Allowance abuse, Disguised remuneration, Stamp Duty avoidance

Property Owners:

  • Continued attack on those with second homes/buy to lets
  • An additional 3% stamp duty levy for such properties
  • Bringing forward the payment of Capital Gains Tax to 30 days from the sale of the property

Employment Costs:

  • 0.5% apprentice levy which will impact those companies with wage bills in excess of £3m
  • When put together with living wage and auto enrolment will increase the cost of employment

VAT:

  • The anticipated announcement of the extension to the VAT use and enjoy provisions has not materialized. We will however wait to see whether it is simply included within the draft Finance Bill 2016 (due to be published 9 December 2015) without further announcement
  • The announcement to consult on changes to legislation to protect the reduced VAT rate applied to energy saving materials to ensure it meets with EU legislation
     

The Midlands:

  • Midlands creating jobs 3 times faster than London
  • Extensive support package unveiled to drive further growth
  • Includes funding to develop a strategy for a HS2 station at Toton, cash for transport and education and the creation of a new enterprise zone
     

Other points of interest:

  • Extension of farmers averaging confirmed at 5 years with option of 2
  • Deed of variation are safe for now
  • OTS living accommodation BIK amends likely to be progressed
  • There appear to be a lot of cuts in back office/admin particularly at HMRC – what impact will this have on service levels?
  • Innovate UK – loans to companies rather than grants
  • Remove steel tariffs for environmental costs
  • Extend smaller business rate relief
  • No pension credit if you leave the UK for greater than 30 days

 

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