Autumn Statement Analysed

No longer in the “rescue” phase, George Osborne outlines his plans to continue “rebuilding” Britain

George Osborne has today set out his plans for continuing to ‘rebuild Britain’ through his Autumn Statement, and whilst there aren’t any particularly controversial announcements, there are a number of small changes which could possibly affect you.

The main points to note are as follows:

  •  Stamp duty rates will increase from April to 3%, aimed at buy to lets and second properties. The message here is simple, if you’re thinking about a second property, then time is of the essence. In real terms this means an additional £5,520 of tax to be paid when buying the average £184,000 property. The new charge would have hit 160,000 buyers if it had applied last year, around 13% of the total buy-to-let market. Commentators are already suggesting that the sector could be hit significantly with this increase to stamp duty.
  • Once digital tax accounts are in place in 2016, capital gains tax will need to be paid within 30 days of completion of any disposal of residential property. Previously this was payable the January after the tax year the sale occurred. A faster win here for the Government.
  • State pension will rise from April to £119.30 per week, the biggest increase in the state pension in 15 years, however the age at which you can start drawing your state pension will also rise. Let’s keep this simple – if you can live on £119.30 per week then great. But we suspect this isn’t the case for many people and if you haven’t started planning for your pension, now is as good a time as any.
  • Auto Enrolment: The next two phases of contribution rate increases planned for October  2017 and 2018 for auto-enrolment schemes will be aligned with the tax years, thus making the process more streamlined and buying 6 months of time to plan. Auto Enrolment is still happening, but the government is adapting as the process unfolds.

Not much here to get too excited about, but we will report further as more details are provided. For now some can breathe a sigh of relief, whilst others will need to speed up their plans, particularly those wanting to buy a second property.

If you have any questions regarding this article or would like to speak to an Independent Financial Adviser about how these changes could affect you and your finances, please call us on 01273 208813 and we would be more than happy to talk to you.

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