05/12/2013 13:31 GMT | Updated 04/02/2014 10:59 GMT

Autumn Statement 2013: George Osborne's Key Announcements

Chris Ison/PA Wire
File photo dated 12/09/13 of Chancellor George Osborne as he has admitted that his much-discussed new hairstyle is a bid to cover up the fact that he is going bald.

George Osborne has delivered his Autumn Statement, here's the key points on what he told MPs:


  • 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.


  • State pension to rise by £2.95 a week from next April.
  • Pensioners will be offered the opportunity to make voluntary national insurance contributions to boost retirement income.
  • The 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.


  • A package of measures to tackle tax avoidance, evasion, fraud and error is expected to raise more than £9 billion over next five years.
  • Capital gains tax will be imposed on non-residents who sell residential property in the UK from April 2015.
  • A new £1,000 transferable tax allowance for married couples from April 2015 will be "just a start".
  • Rolling back green levies will take an average £50 off energy bills.
  • A petrol tax rise of 2p a litre planned for next year is cancelled.
  • Employer national insurance contributions for workers aged under 21 will be removed.


  • Infrastructure plan includes agreement with Hitachi on next nuclear power station in Anglesey, deal with insurance industry to invest £25 billion and support for long-term investment in offshore wind.
  • The Chancellor announced commitment to invest in quantum technology, tax allowance halving taxes on early profits in shale gas, and a new science centre in Edinburgh University named after the discoverer of the Higgs-boson particle.
  • New loans worth £1 billion will be made available to unblock housing developments, including in Manchester and Leeds.
  • Financial resources will be provided to fund expansion of free school meals to all schoolchildren in reception, year one and year two.


  • Jobseekers aged 18 to 21 without basic maths or English will be required to undertake training in these skills or lose benefits.
  • Job seekers aged 18 to 21 will be required to start a traineeship, work experience or community work after six months or lose their benefits.
  • 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 to help firms break into emerging markets.
  • 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.