The Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement yesterday, below is a quick round-up of some of the key announcements, with more in-depth analysis to follow later today.
UK Growth forecasts
Economic growth forecasts have been downgraded by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), to 0.9 per cent in 2011, and 0.7 per cent in 2012.
The Chancellor confirmed that up to £40billion will be available as part of the National Loan Guarantee Scheme. £20billion of which will be made available in coming weeks, and will bring down the interest rate payable on loans to small businesses.
Meanwhile, a £1 billion investment into the Business Finance Partnership is designed to specifically help medium sized businesses, by investing in funds that lend to them.
The National Infrastructure Plan was one of the headline announcements – a package of £30 billion, which includes unlocking up to £20 billion of private investment through pension funds, an additional £5 billion in this Spending Review period, and a further £5 billion in the next Spending Review period.
Including a mortgage indemnity scheme, which will see the Government and housebuilders provide security on home loans, and should help up to 100,000 prospective homebuyers secure loans on newly built homes with a deposit of five per cent.
Housebuilders will also receive a pot of almost £1.8 billion towards the development of new housing, while other measures include action on empty houses, and social housing initiatives.
Employment regulation overhaul
A series of measures have been proposed, including consultation on ‘protected conversations’, and an overhaul of employment tribunals. This will include compensated no fault dismissal for businesses with less than 10 employees, as well as an overhaul of redundancy rules.
Fuel duty and rail fares
The Chancellor has scrapped January’s planned 3p increase, and fuel duty will increase by 3p in August 2012. Rail fares will also be limited to a rise of RPI plus 1 per cent.
The state pension age will rise to 67 in 2026. Plus the basic state pension will increase by £5.30 to £107.40.
The announcement of a £1 billion youth contract set to subsidise work placements for thousands of young unemployed.
Enterprise Investment Scheme
Investors will be given 50 per cent income tax relief on investments of up to £100,000 in new enterprises.