Autumn Statement 2015: Key points

Chancellor George Osborne delivered his first solely Conservative Autumn Statement today.  Our specialist tax and VAT partners from around the UK watched the announcement and have produced an ‘at a glance’ list of the main proposals, to help you digest the information that is relevant to you.

They have also provided their immediate reactions to some of these proposals, which you can view here.


  • Sensible growth forecasts, assuming interest rates don’t rise. Growth of 2.4% forecast for 2015 and growth in subsequent years forecast to be 2.4%, 2.5%, 2.4% and 2.3%
  • Total spending to rise from £756bn this year, to £821bn by 2019/20
  • Borrowing will be a total of £73.5bn this year, falling to £49.9bn, £24.8bn and £4.6bn in subsequent years
  • Budget surplus of £10.1bn to be delivered on schedule by 2019/20

Personal tax and pensions

  • Planned £4.4bn in tax credit cuts, which would have cost families £1,000 a year on average, are to be abandoned
  • Taper and threshold rates for working tax credits and child tax credits to remain the same
  • New 30-hour free childcare subsidy to be limited to parents working more than 16 hours a week
  • Individuals and small businesses to have their own digital tax account by the end of the decade
  • Basic state pension to rise to £119.30 a week from next year
  • Triple-lock on the value of the state pension to be maintained
  • New energy scheme to save an average of £30 a year from household bills

Tax evasion

  • £800m extra funding towards tackling tax evasion


  • 26 new or extended enterprise zones to be created
  • Uniform business rates to be abolished, with elected mayors allowed to raise rates under certain conditions
  • The small business rate relief scheme will be extended by one year
  • Apprenticeship levy set at 0.5% of employer wage bill, with £15,000 allowance for all firms taking part meaning only larger employers should pay the levy
  • Removal of environmental taxes on steel and other heavy industry


  • Housing budget to double to £2bn a year with 400,000 new affordable homes and 135,000 new Help to Buy shared ownership homes to be built
  • Londoners with a 5% deposit will be able to get an interest-free equity loan worth up to 40% of the value of a newly-built home
  • From 1 April 2016 Stamp Duty will be 3% higher for people purchasing additional properties such as buy-to-let properties and second homes
  • CGT payable within 30 days of a property disposal – instead of 31 January the following tax year – once the digital tax accounts are operational
  • Councils to receive an additional £10m upfront to help homeless people

Education and academies

  • Total financial support for education to increase by £10bn with schools funding to be protected in line with inflation
  • School funding formula to be phased out
  • 500 new free schools and university technical colleges to be opened
  • Sixth form colleges will be allowed to become academies


  • £15m raised from charging VAT on sanitary products to be given to women’s health charities
  • An increase in funding to the Arts Council, museums and galleries and the introduction of a tax credit to support exhibitions
  • Further award of LIBOR fines grants to military charities


  • NHS budget to rise from £101bn to £120bn by 2020/21 with £22bn efficiencies in saving to be found
  • £600m additional funding earmarked for mental health provisions
  • Councils to be allowed to impose 2% rise in council tax to cover adult social care


  • Devolution of income tax to Wales will take place without a referendum
  • Doors opened to the devolution of corporation tax in Northern Ireland which the parties have confirmed they wish to set at the rate of 12.5%.
  • Welsh block grant to reach almost £15bn by 2019/20
  • Scottish block grant will be over £30bn by 2019/20
  • Northern Ireland block grant to be more than £11bn by 2019/20

Police and defence

  • There will be no cuts in police budget
  • By 2020/21 the defence budget will have risen to £40bn from £34bn today, with extra cash for the security services

We will be issuing a more detailed summary of the Autumn Statement tomorrow, Thursday 26 November, which will offer a clear and concise commentary of the main proposals, focusing on the issues pertinent to you, your family and your business.

This summary will be added to the Budget section of our website, but if you would like to receive an emailed copy, please let our marketing team know at