AS2013: ‘Britain on track’, claims Osborne

BRITAIN is still on track to wipe out its deficit, George Osborne claimed in his Autumn Statement today.

Chief among his pledges in his 50-minute speech were the abolition of basic rate employer’s national insurance contributions for people under 21 and the imposition of capital gains tax on non-residents selling UK property.

New measures against tax avoidance including compelling people in avoidance schemes already deemed to not work to pay up before tribunals conclude. Promoters of high-risk schemes are to be named and shamed, too, while changes will be made to the taxation of partnerships.

In all, it is expected the anti-avoidance measures will protect £9bn for the Treasury.

For businesses, he promised a cap on business rates rises 2% and a £1,000 reduction for small retailers.

Reeves tax partner Geraint Jones backed the national insurance break for businesses employing young people.

He said: “This is a good idea. Anything encouraging the employment of school leavers is a positive move. How this will impact people’s employment once they reach the age of 21 or exceed the limit will be interesting to see.”

MHA McIntyre Hudson tax partner Tom Byng added: “The business rates caps and reliefs are very welcome. They should encourage investment and help regenerate the UK’s high streets.”

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