In his Autumn statement this week, the Chancellor announced the government's plans for spending over the next four years. This article sets out some of the key decisions made and how they might affect us in Barnet. If you are....
....receiving the state pension:
- The state pension will rise by 2.9%, giving a new total of £119.30 per week.
...looking to buy a house:
- With a 5% deposit, the London Help to Buy will allow you to borrow up to 40% interest-free for five years.
- For first-time buyers under 40 buying a starter home, there is a 20% discount on prices up to £450,000.
- Fuel duty is still frozen.
- Car insurance companies may be able to cut your premium by up £50 per year, because of measures to restrict whiplash claims.
- £300m will be spent on cycling.
- The Mayor of London's programme of cycling improvements and segrated cycle lanes will continue.
- There is an increase in funding for elite sports such as cycling and Government support for the bid to host the UCI Cycling Road World Championships.
- There is £250m of additional funding to tackle potholes on top of the £5bn for local highways maintenance
- Plans are in place to introduce postgraduate loans by 2016-2017: these will be eligible to anyone under 60.
- By 2017-2018, tuition loans will be opened up to those studying for a second degree in a STEM subject.
- By 2018-2019, maintenance loans will be introduced for part-time students.
- £23bn invested in school buildings and 600,000 new school places in England.
- If you have a child aged three or four, have a joint income less than £100,000, and work more than 16 hours per week, you may be eligible for 30 hours of free childcare from 2017.
- The new National Living Wage will be paid to those over 25 from April 2016. The Living Wage will start at £7.20 an hour and reach £9 an hour by 2020.
- The planned cuts to tax credits have been cancelled.
The success of the Conservatives' long term economic plan means that the Government will be borrowing £8bn less than forecast, with a £27bn improvement in public finances. By taking the difficult decisions to live within our means, and get our debt down we have found the money to support key priorities. So there will be no cuts to the police budget, and the NHS and Defence budgets will rise. £800 million has been earmarked to fight tax evasion to make sure everyone pays the tax that is due, including large multinational businesses.