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The Autumn Statement 2015

The Autumn Statement 2015

Category: Economy

Updated: 25/11/2015
First Published: 25/11/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Chancellor George Osborne presented his latest Autumn Statement earlier today, and while some of it was expected, there were a few surprises along the way, too. We thought we'd outline the key points from a personal finance perspective to give you an idea of what to expect in the coming months:

  • The state pension "triple lock" has been confirmed. The Chancellor pledged to maintain the triple lock system for pension provision, which means that the basic state pension will rise to £119.30 per week from April next year. This equates to an increase of £3.25/week and is the largest real-terms increase in 15 years, said the Chancellor, who also confirmed that the full rate for the single tier state pension for new pensioners will be set at £155.65.
  • No cuts to tax credits. In an apparent U-turn, the Chancellor announced that the much-maligned tax credit cut will be scrapped altogether – meaning that the tax credit taper rate and thresholds remain unchanged – in a move driven by improved public finance figures, he said.
  • A commitment to build 400,000 new affordable homes by 2020 through a doubling of the current housing budget to £2bn/year. A new London Help to Buy scheme was also announced, where first-time buyers in London will be given an interest-free equity loan equivalent to 40% of the home's value, which will be implemented in early 2016. A Help to Buy: Shared Ownership scheme is also on the cards, and planning reforms are also being implemented to boost housebuidling even further.
  • Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) will rise by 3% for "additional rental properties", namely buy-to-lets and second homes. The change will come into effect from 1 April and won't apply to the corporate property development sector. The money raised will be used to fund housebuilding initiatives.
  • A new energy supplier obligation will come into effect in 2017 when the current Energy Companies Obligation runs out, which will mean households could save an average of £30 a year on their energy bills. The Warm Home Discount scheme will also be extended to 2020/21, allowing more low-income households to receive a one-off reduction of £140 on their electricity.
  • Motorists will no longer be able to get cash compensation for minor whiplash claims in an attempt to stem the whiplash claims culture, which sees many people claim compensation for exaggerated or fraudulent injuries. It should reduce the cost of providing motor insurance by £1bn, the Chancellor said, and it's expected that the industry will pass on this saving to result in drivers seeing a typical saving of £40-50 a year on their car insurance.

This is just a quick run-through, and tomorrow we'll delve a little deeper into the specific changes and what they could mean for you.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.