The chancellor gave his Autumn Statement on 25 November 2015 together with his spending review. This is our summary of tax-related issues in his speech. 

As always the chancellor did not announce every change in his speech. We have now had a chance to go over the detailed tax changes these are summarised separately here: Autumn Statement 2015: the small print.


  • U-turn on tax credits
  • Higher stamp duty on buy-to-lets & second homes
  • New penalties for abuse of anti-abuse rules


Britain is still running a deficit, although exports are exceeding imports and more jobs are being created in the Midlands and the North than in the South-East of the country.

The way that the National debt has been recalibrated since the summer, the debts of housing associations are added to the national debt. Debt is falling: tax receipts are stronger and debt interest payments are lower. There is a £27 billion improvement in the nation's financing, and the government will borrow £8 billion less. We should be in surplus by 2020.

Key changes

  • A complete U-turn on the proposed tax credit changes.
  • An end to paying pension benefits to those who move abroad for more than a month.
  • New tax penalties and measures for abuse of:
    • The General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR)
    • The Disguised remuneration rules
    • Stamp Duty Land Tax
    • The corporation tax intangible regime by partnerships
  • 18% cost reduction by HMRC as it goes digital.
  • Auto-enrolment changes: contribution changes to be aligned with tax years.
  • Pension: basic rate and state pension to rise. 
  • 26 new enterprise zones.
  • Uniform business rates to be abolished, elected mayors may increase rates, devolving powers to local authorities.
  • Small business rate relief extended.
  • Councils to keep 100% of proceeds of property asset sales.
  • Councils may charge an extra 2% in council tax to pay for social care.
  • Devolution of more powers to Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
  • £11 billion investment in London's transport infrastructure.
  • A shale gas wealth fund.
  • Delay removal of diesel supplement until 2021.
  • The £15 million raised per year in VAT on tampons will go to women's charities.
  • The funds raised by LIBOR fines will go to various military charities.
  • Tax-free childcare is limited to parents who work 30 hours per week.
  • Reform of school funding from 2017
  • An end to compensation for minor motor injuries
  • .5% employer's levy for apprentices, subject to a £15k allowance
  • Help to buy: housing building project doubled, release of public land and unused commercial land for housing.
  • Interest-free loans for help to buy, scheme rolled out to housing association tenants.
  • Buy to lets & second homes: new SDLT rate + 3% from April 2016.

And the rabbit in the hat is...

no cuts to police budgets.