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Highlights from the 2018 Autumn Statement

by Scott Brown | Oct 30, 2018
  • On 29 October 2018 the Chancellor presented his Autumn budget. The budget gave an overall update of how the economy has fared over the year and what spending is planned over the next four to five years. Below is a summary of some of the main points that we think are relevant to you.

    The economy and fiscal forecasts

    • The era of austerity is “finally coming to an end” but “discipline will remain”
    • The growth forecast was downgraded to 1.3% from 1.5% in March with small increases of 1.4% predicted in 2019 and 2020, then 1.5% in 2021 and 1.6% in 2022
    • There are 3.3 million more people in work since 2010
    • Wage growth is at its highest in nearly a decade
    • Public borrowing in 2018 is to be £11.6 billion less than forecast in the Spring Statement
    • Treasury has allocated an extra £2.2 billion for Brexit preparation

    Main Highlights

    • Extending the rules on IR35 to the private sector has been delayed until April 2020 and that extension will only apply to medium and large private companies
    • From April 2019 Tax Free Personal Allowance will rise from £11,800 to £12,500 while the higher rate income tax threshold will rise from £46,350 to £50,000
    • National Living Wage to rise to £8.21 in April 2019
    • VAT Registration threshold to remain unchanged at £85,000 for the next two years
    • Employment Allowance to remain for businesses with Employers' National Insurance under £100,000
    • All first-time buyers purchasing shared equity homes of up to £500,000 to be exempt from stamp duty and this is to be backdated to the last budget
    • Lettings relief limited to properties where the owner is in shared occupancy with the tenant
    • Primary residence relief – the final period of exemption to be reduced from 18 to nine months
    • Business rates bill for companies with a rateable value of £51,000 or less to be cut by a third over two years
    • Entrepreneurs’ Relief to remain, however, the qualifying period will be extended from 12 months to two years
    • Fuel duty to be frozen for ninth year in a row
    • Beer, cider and spirits duties to be frozen while bottled wine duty will increase in line with inflation. Tobacco duty escalator to rise at inflation plus 2%
    • The Annual Investment Allowance will be increased from £200,000 to £1 million for two years
    • An extra £20.5 billion to be allocated to the NHS over the next five years.
    • A new digital services tax on UK revenues of large profitable technology companies with global sales of more than £500 million to be implemented from April 2020
    • £160 million extra to be allocated for counter-terrorism police
    • Extra £1 billion to be allocated to the armed forces
    • A new tax on plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% of recycled material to be implemented in April 2022
    • Visitors from New Zealand, Australia, US, Canada and Japan will be able to use ePassport gates at Heathrow currently used by EEA citizens

    If you have any questions about any of the topics in this summary do not hesitate to contact our accounting team on

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