During his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor provides an update to MPs on the government’s taxation and spending plans.

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 3 December included the following plans, some of which confirm policies already announced.


  • Childcare support within Universal Credit will increase to 85 per cent of eligible costs for all families, from April 2016
  • If a claimant leaves Universal Credit and returns within a 6 month period, they will be able to keep their existing assessment period, simplifying the reclaiming process
  • Tax credits payments will be reduced in-year where, due to a change of circumstances, continuing payment would cause an overpayment, from April 2015
  • Self-employed people claiming tax credits will have to show that the work they undertake is ‘genuine and effective’ and that they have registered as self-employed for tax purposes
  • The full basic State Pension will increase to £115.95 from April 2015
  • The standard minimum income guarantee in Pension Credit will increase to £151.20 per week from April 2015
  • The full new State Pension, for people reaching State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, will be at least £151.25 per week
  • The Carer’s Allowance earnings limit will increase from £102 to £110, from April 2015
  • The requirement for new EEA migrants to have a Genuine Prospect of Work assessment in order to continue getting Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) will apply to all new EEA migrants from February 2015, including those who first claimed JSA before 1 January 2014.


  • The tax-free personal allowance, which was set to rise to £10,500 in April 2015, will rise instead to £10,600
  • The higher rate income tax threshold, above which you pay income tax at 40 per cent, will increase to £42,385
  • The basic, higher and additional rates of income tax will remain at their present levels
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), which is the tax payable by a buyer on buying a property, will be completely reformed. From 4 December 2014, each new SDLT rate will apply only to the part of the property price which falls within each band, not to the whole value of the property as before. New rates and bands are being introduced, which means that SDLT will be cut for the 98% of homebuyers who pay it.
  • In England, small business rate relief will be doubled for another year from April 2015. This means that some of the smallest businesses pay no business rates
  • Members of the emergency services and humanitarian aid workers responding to emergencies will be exempt from inheritance tax, where their death is caused by injury while on active service.

National insurance

  • The national insurance upper earnings and upper profits limits will increase to stay in line with the higher rate threshold for income tax
  • Employer’s national insurance contributions for apprentices under 25 will be abolished on earnings up to the upper earnings limit, from April 2016
  • The national insurance contributions Employment Allowance will be extended to households that employ care and support workers from April 2015. This will reduce the amount of national insurance the employer pays by £2,000 per year.


  • The tax-fee Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance will rise to £15,240 from April 2015
  • If an ISA saver in a marriage or civil partnership dies, their husband, wife or civil partner will inherit their ISA tax advantages, from 3 December 2014.


  • Post-graduate students under 30 who are undertaking a masters degree will be able to apply for a student loan of up to £10,000, from 2016-17.


  • Fuel duty will remain frozen
  • Air passenger duty for children under 12 on economy tickets will be abolished from 1 May 2015, and for children under 16 from 1 March 2016.

You can find more detail about the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement announcements on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.

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Tom Togher.