Posted on: 24 November 2015 by Omar Iqbal
George Osborne delivered a series of budget measures today, as well as his spending plans for the UK economy over the next five years. There were few significant personal finance related changes announced - that is of course excluding his divisive U-turn on tax credits – but we have produced a short video summary of the main changes we think will be most relevant to you.
What the announcement means for you:
The Chancellor was confident about his plans for the UK economy, promising to deliver £12bn of welfare savings in full by the end of this parliament and focusing on moving from a budget deficit to a budget surplus.
We didn’t see an update to the previously announced reduction in pensions Lifetime Allowance (LTA), where any Government reliefs for those individuals currently at or nearing the new limit are yet to be finalised - one to look out for in 2016. Some other changes announced were to basic state pensions, with an increase of £3.35 per week, and the introduction of a ‘single-tier’ pension.
The most interesting and relevant item was perhaps the Chancellor’s announcement to increase stamp duty for buy-to-let and second homes by 3% from April 2016. Something which goes hand in hand with his proposal to build 400,000 more houses over the next five years – a reduction in landlords sitting on second and holiday homes.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
The next key point was the Chancellor’s announcement to ensure CGT on residential sales is paid within 30 days as opposed to the existing 10-22 months, which will come into effect by April 2019.
It seems that the tax credit U-turn will be funded by a combination of stamp duty on buy-to-lets and an apprenticeship levy of 0.5% for larger businesses. For small business owners there was a business rate relief extension that continues for another year.
What do we know and what are we waiting for?
Today’s announcement alluded to a greater focus on tax abuse measures with £800m extra funding announced to tackle tax evasion. However, there was very little in the detail of this announcement and we look forward to more clarity. We will certainly be keeping a close eye on what this extra funding will mean and what our clients will need to think about.
If you have any questions for Omar or our Financial Planning Team about today’s Statement, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your questions.