Autumn Statement November 2015
Mr Osborne’s primary goal was to deliver the Spending Review, so there was a heavy emphasis on departmental expenditure and the £4,000bn expected total government spending over the next five years. Nevertheless, the Chancellor did make a number of tax-related announcements:
• The rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) will be increased by 3% for the purchasers of second homes and buy-to-let properties from 1 April 2016. Three years later, any capital gains tax due on the disposal of residential property will have to be made as payment on account within 30 days of the disposal.
• Small business rates relief was extended for another year. With local councils also being given the power to control local rates, this looks likely to be an interesting development.
• There was a pause in pensions announcements with pensions tax relief proposals deferred until next year. But the rate for the new single tier pension coming in from April 2016 was set at £155.65 a week.
• The Chancellor also announced that his controversial proposed changes to tax credits have been scrapped at a cost of £3.4bn in 2016/17.
There were many other important announcements which we cover in the summary.