2016 Autumn Statement at a glance

Earlier today, Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first Conservative Autumn Statement.

There was a fair amount of pressure on our new Chancellor, ahead of today’s speech, to act as a stable force in the post-Brexit uncertainty. After nearly an hour at the dispatch box, Hammond had announced new policies affecting infrastructure, housing, tax credits and taxation. However, the main surprise saw Hammond deliver his first and last Autumn Statement as he announced plans to move future Budgets to the Autumn with the Spring speech converting to an update event with no major measures.

Our specialist tax and VAT partners from around the UK watched the announcement and have produced an ‘at a glance’ list of the key points, 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.

The economy, public borrowing and spending

  • The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast growth of 2.1% in 2016, 1.4% in 2017, 1.7% in 2018, 2.1% in 2019 and 2020, and 2% in 2021
  • Borrowing is forecast at £68.2bn in 2016/17, £59bn in 2017/18, £46.5bn in 2018/19, £21.9bn in 2019/20, £20.7bn in 2020/21 and £17.2bn 2021/22. The forecast is £122bn higher in the period until 2021 than previously forecast in the 2016 March Budget
  • The Government are no longer seeking a budget surplus in 2019/20
  • Public spending this year to be 40% of GDP, down from 45% in 2010
  • The Government will meet commitments to protect budgets for key public services, defence, overseas aid and the pension ‘triple lock’ until the end of this Parliament

Taxation, rates and thresholds

  • £2bn raised from targeting tax avoidance schemes
  • Business tax road map from March will be maintained, with Corporation Tax at 17% by 2020 as planned
  • Extra £2bn funding a year for research and development by 2020/21
  • Insurance premium tax to increase from 10% to 12% from June 2017
  • Salary sacrifice schemes to be scaled back other than childcare, pension contributions, cycle to work and electric cars. Effective from April 2017 but with some transitional rules for longstanding arrangements
  • Tax free personal allowance to rise to £11,500 next April as planned
  • Personal allowance to keep increasing, targeted to be £12,500 by 2021
  • Higher rate tax threshold targeted at £50,000 by the end of Parliament
  • National Living Wage to rise to £7.50 per hour from April next year, up from £7.20


  • Extra £400m funding to unlock £1bn investment into start-up tech firms
  • New £6.7bn package to reduce business rates
  • £23bn for new National Productivity Investment Fund over the next five years

Tax credits

  • Universal Credit taper rate reduced from 65p to 63p for every £1 earned from April 2017


  • £1.4bn to help build 40,000 new affordable homes in England
  • £2.3bn for infrastructure in areas of high demand for new homes
  • Letting agencies in England to be banned from imposing upfront fees on tenants
  • Large-scale regional pilot of Right to Buy for housing association tenants

Transport and infrastructure

  • Infrastructure investment to rise to between 1% and 1.2% of GDP from 2020
  • £23bn to be spent on innovation and infrastructure over five years
  • £1.1bn package to improve English local transport networks
  • £220m to address traffic pinch points on strategic roads
  • £1bn funding for digital infrastructure, including 5G mobile
  • £450m for trial of digital signalling on railways
  • £390m for low-emission vehicles


  • £1.8bn from Local Growth Fund for infrastructure in English regions
  • Northern Ireland to receive £250m extra per year, Wales £400m and Scotland £800m


  • Fuel duty rise has been cancelled for the seventh year in succession – saving the average car driver £130 a year, and average van driver £350

Armed forces and charities

  • Additional £102m of bank fines for armed forces and emergency services charities
  • £3m from tampon tax will go to women’s charities

We will be issuing a more detailed summary of the Autumn Statement tomorrow, Thursday 24 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.  If you would like a copy of this please email: marketing@uhy-uk.com or visit our website again tomorrow.