The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, will deliver his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons on Thursday 5th December 2013 at 11.15am.
The Autumn Statement is an important update on various financial matters and will include the latest forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility.
Here at Informed Choice, we will be covering the Autumn Statement 2013 as it happens on this blog.
We also aim to produce a concise briefing note for our clients and professional connections by 5pm on the day of the Autumn Statement.
Watch this space for live coverage and personal finance commentary of the Autumn Statement 2013, or follow us on Twitter @InformedChoice.
12:05 – George Osborne sits down after a 50 minute long Autumn Statement. Nothing too dramatic in the statement itself, but the devil is often in the detail. We will start examining the details now and get working on our Autumn Statement briefing note for clients and professional connections.
12:04 – No employer National Insurance contributions to pay on employees under age 21, covering 1.5m people. Should encourage businesses to employ more younger people. This will be introduced in April 2015 and will not apply above the upper earnings limit, although we suspect very few 21 year olds earn at this level anyway.
12:02 – Some measures on energy prices and fuel duty. The fuel duty rise of 2p scheduled for next September is cancelled.
12:00 – Osborne confirms new transferable tax allowance for married couples, allowing part of personal allowance to be transferred to spouses. To be introduced in April 2015, allowing £1,000 of allowance to be transferred between married couples and civil partners.
11:58 – Small business rate relief scheme is extended for another year. Rates capped at 2% rise from next April. Local retailers will have a new reoccupation relief, halving business rates for new occupants in vacant units. For the next two years, every retail premises in Britain with rateable value up to £50,000 will get a £1,000 discount off their rates bill.
11:54 – Britain has the most competitive business tax system in the world. Osborne explains that corporate tax cuts result in improved economic growth. Shares purchased in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) too see stamp duty abolished.
11:51 – Funding the expansion of free school meals to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. For those that leave school, Job Centre Plus will be funded to help young adults to find a job or apprenticeship. Basic skills training becomes a requirement to gain access to benefits.
11:47 – Help to Buy scheme is set to expand, with more new banks joining the scheme shortly.
11:42 – Osborne sets out package of tax avoidance measures which will raise £9bn over the next five years. Non-UK residents to pay capital gains tax on disposal of UK assets from April 2015, applies to residential property.
11:40 – Keeping the State pension age affordable means making sure it keeps track with rising life expectancy. As expected, State pension age to increase to 68 in mid 2030s and 69 in late 2040s, precise dates to be confirmed. This will save future taxpayers £500m a year.
11:39 – Next April, the State pension will rise by a further £2.95 per week. Current pensioners offered opportunity to make voluntary NI contributions to boost their pension income.
11:35 – New cap on total welfare spending introduced next year, will not include the State pension as this is better controlled over the longer period. All other benefits (excluding Job Seeker’s Allowance) will be included in the cap. Osborne presents this as a responsibility to taxpayers.
11:32 – Another ‘fiscally neutral’ Autumn Statement/Mini-Budget. In plain English, that means Osborne will give with one hand and take with the other.
11:24 – Unemployment falling to 7% by 2015 could be significant for interest rates, so factor this into your Financial Plan. Rising interest rates in 2015 or early 2016 look likely, assuming the economic recovery is secured and the banks have repaired their balance sheets.
11:22 – The scale of the financial crisis is explained, fall in GDP was 7.2%, wiping £112bn off the economy. These revised figures make the recession look much worse and the recovery look much better. Growth of 2.4% predicted by OBR for 2014. Some commentators suggesting it will be much stronger than that.
11:16 – The economic plan is working, but the job is not done, says Osborne as he launches into his Autumn Statement. There is talk a ‘responsible recovery’, not repeating the ‘mistakes the past’ and making ‘hard choices’. Here comes more austerity.
11:05 – Ten minutes to go until the Autumn Statement, and only a couple of key measures have been leaked, the State pension age and car tax discs going electronic. We are expecting some big announcements this morning.
10:27 – It sounds like our lives will be made easier once or twice a year, with the requirement to display a car tax (vehicle excise duty) disc abolished from October 2014. The system, introduced in 1921, will be brought kicking and screaming into the modern age with the ability to pay monthly by direct debit, rather the annually or half-yearly.
07:59 – The day starts with some news about the state pension age, with the BBC reporting that the date when people must be 68 to claim their state pension will be brought forward from 2046 to the mid 2030s.
This change means those retiring in the 2040s could face a state pension age of 69, and also the prospect of a state pension age of 70 for young people today.
Relying on politicians for your financial security in later life is rarely a sensible strategy. A state pension age of 68, 69 or 70 is immaterial unless you are relying on the state for a life on the breadline in retirement.
What these changes will mean is the need to fund an ever growing gap between your chosen retirement age and when the state will kick in some additional financial support.