The Chancellor George Osborne announced changes to tax credits cuts, housing and pensions in his 2015 Autumn Statement speech. If you’re unsure what these changes could mean for you, we’ve broken down some of the bigger announcements:
Tax credits: after proposed plans were rejected by the House of Lords last month, the Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that tax credit cuts will no longer be going ahead. This U-turn is good news if you claim either type of tax credit, as the income threshold will remain at £6,420 a year for Working Tax Credits and £16,105 a year for Child Tax Credits.
State pension: the basic state pension will receive a boost of £3.35 a week to £119.30 from April 2016. This is good news if you currently receive the full basic state pension, as you’ll be £174.20 a year better off once these changes come in.
Housing: the Chancellor announced that 400,000 new homes would be built by 2020. Half of these will be starter homes, which will be sold at 20% discount and 135,000 will be Help-to-Buy shared ownership homes. A new stamp duty rate for buy-to-let properties and second homes will be introduced in April next year – this will be 3% higher than the standard stamp duty rate.
Housing benefits: housing benefit and pension credit payments will be stopped for people who leave the country for more than one month. Housing benefit will also be capped at the same level as the private sector for new social tenants.
Childcare: 30 hours of free childcare will be introduced for parents of three and four year-olds by 2017. This will be limited for parents working more than 16 hours a week and earning less than £100,000 a year.
Education: changes to student loans were announced, maintenance grants will be replaced with loans for part-time students. Grants for student nurses will be scrapped and replaced with loans.
Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA): all new JSA claimants will have to visit a Jobcentre every week for three months when they sign up.
Energy scheme: a new energy saving scheme was announced, which the Chancellor said would save an average of £30 a year from household bills.