Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Autumn Statement 2013: At a glance


The main points of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement:


* The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast for growth in 2013 has been upgraded from 0.6% to 1.4%, for 2014 it is upgraded from 1.8% to 2.4%.

* The OBR forecast of growth for the four years from 2015 has been forecast at 2.2%, 2.6%, 2.7% and 2.7%.

* Employment will rise by 400,000 in 2013, says the OBR. Unemployment forecast to fall from 7.6% this year to 7% in 2015, and 5.6% by 2018.

* Public sector net borrowing is forecast to be 5.6% in 2014, then 4.4%, 2.7% and 1.2% in subsequent years, with a small surplus by 2018/19.

* The Government will borrow £111 billion this year - £9 billion less than predicted in March. Borrowing to fall to £96 billion next year, then £79 billion, £51 billion and £23 billion in following years.

* Debt is forecast at 75.5% of GDP this year, rising to 78.3% next year, and 80% in 2015, before falling to 79.9% in 2016, then 78.4% and 75.9% in following years.


* New package of measures to tackle tax avoidance, evasion, fraud and error expected to raise more than £9 billion over next five years.

* Capital gains tax will be imposed on foreigners who sell residential property in the UK from April 2015.

* New £1,000 transferable tax allowance for married couples from April 2015

* Rolling back green levies will take an average £50 off energy bills.

* Petrol tax rise of 2p a litre planned for 2014 is cancelled.

* Employer national insurance contributions for workers aged under 21 to be removed.


* Financial resources provided to fund expansion of free school meals to all school children in reception, year one and year two.

* New priority right to move for social tenants who need to relocate for a job.

* New loans worth £1 billion to unblock housing developments including in Manchester and Leeds.

* Plans to increase train fares by 1% above inflation from January cancelled


* New principle that people should spend one third of adult life in retirement implies increase in state pension age to 68 in mid 2030s and 69 in late 2040s.

* State pension to rise by £2.95 a week from next April, leaving pensioners £800 a year better off from Government measures since 2010.

* Pensioners offered opportunity to make voluntary national insurance contributions to boost retirement income.

Employment and growth

* Job seekers aged 18 to 21 without basic maths or English will be required to undertake training or lose benefits.

* Funding for Jobcentres to support 16 and 17 year olds in finding apprenticeship or traineeships

*HM Revenue and Customs will fund employers directly for apprenticeships with an extra 20,000 higher apprenticeships over next two years.

*An additional 30,000 student places will be offered next year, with the cap on student numbers abolished in 2015.


* Export finance capacity for UK businesses will be doubled to £50 billion.

* The small business rate relief scheme will be extended for one year from April 2014. Inflation increase in business rates will be capped at 2% from April 2014.

* New reoccupation relief will encourage the use of vacant town centre shops, halving rates for new occupants. There will be a discount on business rates worth £1,000 to every retail premises in England with rateable value up to £50,000.

Additional reporting PA