Earlier this month the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published its updated forecast for the UK economy and Chancellor George Osborne responded to that forecast in a statement to the House of Commons later on that day. This statement was followed by the issue of draft legislation together with consultation documents.
Some of the key new announcements made as part of the Autumn Statement are as follows:
• the introduction from April 2015 of an exemption from employer NICs for employees under 21 on earnings paid up to the Upper Earnings Limit
• allowing companies to claim tax relief on donations to Community Amateur Sports Clubs by extending Gift Aid
• the introduction from October 2015 of a new class of voluntary NIC (Class 3A) that gives those who reach state Pension age before 6 April 2016 an opportunity to boost their Additional State Pension entitlement.
Please also refer to the separate articles in this newsletter on some specific announcements where further details are available.
However please do contact us if you would like further details on any announcements.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General has issued the CBI’s response to the statement some of which is reproduced below:
‘We have always advocated the dual approach of tackling the deficit and driving growth – the OBR forecasts confirm it is working. Let’s stick with what works.’
‘The pressure on the high street has been recognised; the 2% cap on business rates and discount for very small businesses are positive, as is the reoccupation relief.’
‘Abolishing a jobs tax on employing young people under 21 will make a real difference and help tackle the scourge of youth unemployment.’
‘But it was a missed opportunity not to support our hard-pressed energy intensive businesses which are also struggling with rising costs, and the package on housing supply could have been more ambitious.’
‘Alongside the positive measures to help the high street, including the 2% cap on rates, empty property incentive and £1,000 boost for smaller retailers, we need to see a review of the outmoded business rates system.’
“Reducing the cost of employing 18-20 year olds will help more young people find jobs when it comes into force in 2015. Job centres will have an important role to play and will need to work more effectively with businesses to ensure young people get the right advice.’
‘Businesses will now be looking for government action in the Budget and this has to include looking at the impact of the Carbon Price Floor. Shale gas will play a role in delivering a balanced energy mix, but we need action on all fronts to keep costs down and secure our future supply.’