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For the third time in the year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer took to the despatch box to update the Commons and country as a whole on the nation’s finances.
Greater tax revenues and lower interest payments on government debt had handed the Chancellor more flexibility than many analysts had expected.
Business, enterprise and employment
The Chancellor confirmed that the small business rate relief scheme would be extended for another year with 600,000 firms expected to benefit as a result.
As was previously announced the Government will be doing away with uniform business rates and devolving power to set rates to local councils. Local authorities will soon also be able to keep this revenue, rather than having to hand over money for central government to reallocate.
An increased rate of stamp duty land tax is to be introduced for buy-to-let and second homes. This will be three per cent higher than the normal rate and takes effect from April next year.
From 2019, Mr Osborne announced that Capital Gains Tax (CGT) will need to be paid within 30 days of selling a residential property.
Pensions and savings
The basic state pension will rise by £3.35 a week next year. This will mean a basic rate of £119.30 a week.
There will also be a new single-tier pension payment of £155.65 for new pensioners starting next year.
Tax evasion, avoidance and aggressive tax planning
The Chancellor pledged to tackle tax avoidance and announced that the Government would work to create one of the most “digitally advanced” tax systems on the planet.
Pensioners and low-earners are among the main beneficiaries and the news about a new rate of stamp duty is likely to be a blow for buy-to-let landlords.