Financial News

  • 5 December 2013, 10:24

The Autumn Statement: What's Expected?

It has been widely trailed but there could be some surprises. Here is a guide to what to expect from George Osborne today.

:: Energy: The Government is to shave £50 off the average annual energy bill by cuts to green levies, which add around £112 to bills. 

:: Environment: So it doesn't wriggle out of its environmental promises Mr Osborne will also announce a scheme to give £1,000 for energy efficiency measures to those buying a new home - funded by a new crackdown on tax dodgers. 

:: Small businesses: A cap on the annual business rate at 2% and the extension of the small business rate relief scheme.

:: Housing: New capital gains tax on foreigners selling UK homes in a bid to stop a housing bubble in London and the South East 

:: Schools: Free school meals for children up to the age of seven, in a move announced by Nick Clegg at the Lib Dem party conference in September. It will cost £1bn over two years, with £150m extra cash to improve school kitchens to help them cope.

:: Married couples: Tax breaks for married couples will mean spouses who do not work will be able to transfer £1,000 of their personal tax allowance to their partner. There is a potential £200 benefit - but for low-income couples only. In recent days David Cameron has hinted there could be more.

:: Fuel duty: As with previous budgets and statements, the Chancellor is likely to scrap the next fuel duty rise which is scheduled for September 2014.

:: Tax discs: The tax disc will be scrapped after 90 years and replaced with an electronic system.

:: Growth: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is expected to say that GDP this year will jump from the 0.6% forecast in March to about 1.4%. Next year it will be about 2.3%, up from the previous estimate of 1.8%. 

:: Deficit: This should mean that borrowing for this year will be around £15bn less than expected in the March budget so around £105bn.

:: Pensions: The state pension age will rise to 66 by 2020 and 67 by 2028.

:: Infrastructure: £375bn of planned public and private investments to 2030. The Government is to sell off 40% stake in Eurostar to raise £10bn.

:: Watch live coverage of the Autumn Statement throughout Thursday on Sky News on Sky 501, Virgin Media 602, Freesat 202, Freeview 82, and Sky News for iPad.