Highlights from the Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement yesterday.

Note that the full list of draft legislation destined for the 2013 Finance Act will not be released by HMRC until 11 December.

Highlights of the Autumn Statement

Britain is on the right track, deficit down by a quarter, exports doubled since 2009, since 2010 1.2 million new jobs in private sector. Update of the debt reduction plan: it is taking longer than we thought, and we are now looking at four years instead of four.

Tax - new measures

Rates and allowances thresholds:

The new Employee Share Ownership Scheme is confirmed as being introduced next year

A "simpler" tax accounting system is to be introduced for unincorporated businesses

Proposals for "the taxation of controlling persons" has been dropped - HMRC already has IR35.

Small business rate relief

Tax avoidance

There will not be a new tax on expensive homes

Pensions and investments

Other measures

The economy in general

Plans re-confirmed to reduce deficit and encourage investment in UK with new support for business and enterprise.

Growth forecast from the Office of Budget Responsibility at -0.01% this year, rising to 2% next year and looking positive thereafter. Contraction in 2008-2009 estimated at 6%; the largest since Second World War. Unemployment expected to peak at 8.3%.

The Royal Mail pension fund is added to the UK's balance sheet, and the cost of the Bradford and Bingley bailout written off.

From the Bank of England "excess cash" is being passed to the Government under an asset purchase plan.

Government departments are required to make an extra 1% saving.

UK to continue to make a .7% contribution in international aid.

£5 billion reinvestment plan, so public investment as a share of GDP higher than under previous government:


Mr Osborne was very careful not to talk in any detail about the taxation of multinationals - a significant ommission given the media attention and the House of Common's Public Accounts Committee's interest  in those companies such as the Starbucks, Googles and Amazons questioned by MPs in November, which set up HQs in low tax jurisdications such as Luxembourg. He is keen to show that "Britain is open for business" but as benefits are cut and the pressure grows on individuals to pay their way it is easy to see that that the government are going to have to face up to the fact that there is a growing wave of resentment against those companies and individuals who are too big to bother about being taxed in Britain.