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December 6, 2013 / politicsbitesize

Autumn Statement 2013

AutumnStatementOn Thursday 5th December the Chancellor, George Osborne, delivered his Autumn Statement to House of Commons. In it he outlined the state of the UK economy and the government’s future plans. Below are a few key points:

Government Borrowing
The UK’s deficit has been reduced down by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to 6.8% this year, and to 5.6% next year. This prediction excludes the sale of the Royal Mail pension scheme and the effects of quantitative easing.

What this means is that there should be a small surplus by 2018-19 and that borrowing is expected to fall from £111bn in 2013-13 to around £51bn in 2015-16.

Benefits and Pensions
The age at which you can claim your state pension is to increase to 68 by the mid-2030s and to 69 in the late 2040s. For those already retired, the state pension will rise by £2.95 a week from April 2014.

Unsurprisingly, overall welfare spending is to be capped.

Taxes and Allowances
It is good news for workers and employers. Employer National Insurance contributions are to be scrapped on 1.5 million jobs for young people and the personal income tax allowance will rise to £10,000 from April 2014.

Motorists will get yet another break this year as petrol taxes are to stay frozen and a planned rise of 2p per litre for next year is to be scrapped. The tax disc to show motorists have paid vehicle excise duty is to be replaced with an electronic system.

Commuters will not be hit so hard next year, as train fares are to become more regulated and prices will rise in line with inflation.



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