Autumn Statement 2015 Predictions: will Osborne ‘Finish the job’?
'The government has come under recent pressure to introduce new measures to accelerate the progress of infrastructure projects.'
George Osborne is set to give his first all-Tory Autumn Statement on Wednesday 25 November. What could be in store in what is anticipated to include a softening of cuts and a boost to infrastructure?
- Pensions tax relief – Limiting the amount of tax reliefs for pensions. The government has been consulting to establish whether the tax relief system provides incentives for individuals to save and that the costs of pension tax relief are affordable.
- Tax credit cuts – Chancellor George Osborne is expected to use the Autumn Statement to mitigate the impact of the House of Lords defeat of tax credit cuts. He has confirmed that he will announce plans to ease the transition to lower tax credits in the Autumn Statement. The cuts could mean additional cuts to housing benefits or universal credit. He has come under pressure to squeeze incomes of high-rate taxpayers to ease the burden on tax credit cuts.
- Business Enterprise Zones – The Government is expected announce an increase in the number of business enterprise zones in England, from 24 to approximately 40. Business enterprise zones offer 100 per cent discount business rates, worth up to £275,000 over five years, and are given superfast broadband to help firms expand. A rise in business rates is anticipated if the government withdraws relief to occupied retail properties.
- Business Rates Review -The government launched a radical review on business rates back in March, with its findings due to be revealed for the 2016 Budget, however this may be brought forward and reviewed in this month’s Autumn Statement.
- Northern Powerhouse – George Osborne is likely to give further updates on the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. Over the past couple of months the Chancellor has been trying to secure Chinese investment in Northern projects and he could announce updates during his speech.
- Infrastructure – The Chancellor is expected to turn his attention to British infrastructure with positive announcements on Crossrail 2 and Chinese investment in infrastructure projects. The government has come under recent pressure to introduce new measures to accelerate the progress of infrastructure projects. Osborne may also provide an update on the long-running airport expansion debate.
Check back in with us on the day for our analysis of Osborne’s speech and what it means in practice.
16 Nov 2015