Autumn Statement 2015
George Osborne announced his half-yearly Budget yesterday. This is, in fact, his third visit to the despatch box this year after the Budget in April and the Summer Budget in July.
The build-up was very much focused on the continuation of Mr Osborne’s austerity measures. There was plenty of that, as well as a few items that our clients are likely to find interesting.
However, given the upheaval in pension rules recently, we were disappointed that little was announced in relation to pensions. The whole system of pension tax reliefs remains under review and will be announced in the Budget in March.
The biggest bombshell for a lot of our clients was the announcement of a new rate of stamp duty for ‘second properties’ from April 2016. Anyone buying a BTL property or holiday home will face a rate of stamp duty three percentage points higher.
A consultation on the policy details has been started so it is not clear as to how it might be implemented. However, anyone with more than one property looking to buy a new property in the near future (including one to live in) should be warned they may have to pay significantly higher Stamp Duty.
For Buy-to-Let investors, this bombshell comes after the removal of higher-rate tax relief on mortgage interest payments in July. Mr Osborne clearly wants to squeeze Buy-to-Let investors and keep a lid on property prices.
A new “London Help to Buy” scheme will be introduced for buyers with a 5% deposit: providing a 5-year interest-free loan of up to 40% of the value of a property in London (as opposed to 20% outside).
Renewable (e.g. solar) energy has been removed as an eligible investment for Venture Capital Trusts and Enterprise Investment Schemes.
The Basic State Pension will rise next year to £119.30 a week (£6,203 a year). Working families earning less than £100,000 a year will be entitled to 30 hours a week of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds.
If you would like to discuss how any of the above impacts you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.