Fascinating Autumn Budget Statement - Highlights

By way of an update I enclose below some of the scintillating points from Mr Hammondís first and probably last Autumn Statement.

Aside from the Office for Budget Responsibility predicting Brexit will cost the country £59 billion over the next 5 years, HM Treasury has announced certain measures worthy of note in terms of the taxation of individuals and businesses.

Personal Taxation

  • Some employees face tax rises on benefits such as health checks, car parking and gym membership. However exceptions will be made for pensions, childcare, ultra- low emission cars, and most importantly the cycle to work scheme. This tax is being increased by operating them through salary rather than as a Benefit in Kind.
  • Pension tax relief rules are being tightened to stop people over 55 gaining double tax relief on contributions. In this way, the money purchase annual allowance is reduced from £10,000 to £4,000.

Personal Allowances

  • The government is increasing both the tax free personal allowance to £11,500 in April 2017 with the higher rate income tax threshold to rise to £50,000 by the end of this Parliament.
  • Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will rise from 2% to 12% next June.

Non Tax Points

  • Letting agents will no longer be able to charge up-front fees on rental tenancies. However the government has not said when this will take place and up to now has merely indicated that this will happen ‘as soon as possible.’
  • The government has also come up with various statements on funding for extra investment in local transport networks and with £20+ billion also to be spent on infrastructure. However as with all government statements this should be taken with a large block of salt as they tend to include previous spin statements on additional funding.
  • The government has promised to fund 2,500 more prison officers which some would say is a bit rich when they have reduced numbers by 5,200 since 2010.

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