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The Autumn Statement

The Autumn Statement: Chilly wind or sunny


The rumour mill about the contents of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement is as active as ever. Will IHT rules change? Will pension tax relief be cut? Will the much- touted charging of CGT for foreigners buying property happen?

Trying to second guess what will be included in the Autumn Statement is a bit like trying to predict the weather for the day on which it will be delivered. Now changed from the 4th to the 5th December to allow for David Cameron to complete his trade mission to China, the Chancellor used Twitter to announce the change of date, rather than through the traditional route of informing the House first. According the BBC news, Speaker John Bercow was not amused and has told the government not to make announcements about parliamentary business on Twitter before informing the House of Commons.

Whilst George Osborne himself has floated the idea of charging non-residents capital gains tax for the first time, in a bid to cool London property prices fuelled by foreign investment, a variety of institutions and bodies are lobbying hard to present their own views on what they would like to see. At the time of writing, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has come up with a wide-ranging list of items for consideration. These include:

·         urging the Treasury against capping the total amount held in ISAs, claiming it would undermine the Isa brand and stability of savings. This follows the government floating the idea earlier this year of a £100,000 ISA cap to stop tax incentives for “ISA millionaires”.

·         asking the Government to come up with an exit strategy for the Help to Buy scheme and to stop a increasing the current £150,000 maximum level for seed Enterprise Investment Schemes and for the capital gains tax exemptions under EIS/SEIS to be extended for a longer period.

·         warning against competitive disadvantages from a higher bank levy and the EU bankers’ bonus cap.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) wants the Isa cash allowance doubled to £11,520. It’s also asking for the Government to pay up to 50p in the pound for first-time ISA users and allow transfers from child trust funds to junior ISAs.

The Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA) wants Government to allow investments in peer- to- peer lending to be held in ISAs and for ISA allowances to be transferred to spouses on death.

The CBI wants a cap on the annual business rates increase at 2 per cent in the short term, and introduce an incentive for businesses to move into vacant property to boost local high streets.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has also called on the Chancellor to take action on business rates, as well as energy bills and taxation.

So what will happen? Will any of these matters be addressed? What do you think?

We’ll be watching avidly on the day and keeping you up to date via Twitter and linked in

As for the weather? We predict it will be a typical December day, but then again, it may not...