Delivering the 2013 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor said the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility proved that Britain’s economic plan is working but warned that the job is not done.
George Osborne stressed that:
· the deficit is down but it’s still too high
· growth is up but productivity is too low
· businesses are expanding but exports could be better; and
· disposable incomes are improving but households are still
struggling with the cost of living.
It was the introduction to an Autumn Statement he said was designed to secure the economy for the long term. Britain, said the Chancellor, needs a Government that lives within its means if it is to be a country that pays its way in the world. The headline business announcements were on rates. A 2% cap on next year’s increase in business rates was confirmed. The doubling of the Small Business Rate Relief, to 100% for qualifying businesses, was also extended by a year until April 2015. For personal finances, the planned September 2014 fuel duty increase has been scrapped. Train fares will increase in January in line with inflation only - not by the usual inflation plus 1%. And basic rate taxpayers will be able to transfer £1,000 of their personal allowance to a spouse or civil partner from April 2015. The following report provides a concise summary of the announcements made in the 2013 Autumn Statement.