/ Home & Energy, Money, Travel & Leisure

Autumn Statement 2015: what’s in it for you?

George Osborne

In today’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor made a number of announcements in big markets ranging from mortgages to energy. So, how will it affect you?

With the new rate for the single-tier State Pension confirmed (for introduction in April 2016) and changes to the tax credit system scrapped, there is a lot for you to digest. As well as the key highlights below we have also set up a dedicated advice page to explain what it means for your personal finances.

Generation buy

The Chancellor announced plans to boost home ownership included discounts on starter homes and Help to Buy shared ownership, along with a new equity loan scheme for Londoners.

This will be a welcome boost for those first-time buyers.

Mortgage fees

We were pleased to be asked by the Chancellor at last year’s Autumn Statement to work with the Council of Mortgage Lenders on ways to make it easier for people to compare the cost of different mortgages.

The result of this work is a new tariff, including two key improvements: standard terminology for the fees lenders use; and a common format for how lenders list and describe fees. In a win for our Sneaky Fees campaign lenders representing 85% of the market have committed to introduce this tariff and put it on their website by the end of the year.


The Chancellor confirmed that the triple lock on pensions will be maintained. He also announced the new single-tier pension of £155.65 for new pensioners from April 2016. This sits alongside the freedom and choice reforms implemented earlier this year, more details on a secondary annuities market are due before 2016.

Energy savings

With energy bills still one of your top financial concerns, the Chancellor set out that the Energy Company Obligation’s replacement will mean that 24 million households could save £30 a year.

Meanwhile low-income households will welcome the extension of the annual £140 Warm Homes Discount on their electricity bills.

Transport improvements

After the EU’s slow action to improve vehicle emission testing, the Chancellor announced a delay to the removal of the diesel supplement for company cars until 2021. We’ve been campaigning for manufacturers, the Government and the European Commission to deliver fuel tests you can trust.

Meanwhile, drivers could see their annual insurance costs fall following a government clamp down on whiplash claims. There are also changes for rail commuters with new flexible season tickets on some lines, and plans to give rail passengers access to compensation when their train is more than 15 minutes late.

The bottom line

What do you think about the announcements made by George Osborne today?


I think we have veered off topic a little, which is:

Autumn Statement – What’s in it for you?

Hello everyone, we have had to remove a number of comments from this thread due to them veering off the topic of the Autumn Statement. The ‘on-topic’ rule is one of the cornerstones of this community. Another is to be polite to one another and respect each others opinions, even if they may differ.

Please stick to these guidelines – they are here for the benefit of every single contributor: https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines/

If any other comments are made beyond this point which are not about the Autumn Statement, they will be removed. If that is not successful, then we will have no other option than to close this discussion to new comments. This has only happened twice in five years, so I would very much like not to do that. Thank you very much.

Patrick Steen says:
” … and respect each others opinions, even if they may differ.”
I have today lodged an official protest at this seeming threat against legitimate countering of Hate Speech, and its proponents on this site.
It is suggested that you either withdraw, or amend, that part of your implied threat pending the outcome of my protest.
I suggest that it now read, pro tem :

”Please be polite to one another, within the bounds of normal robust responses.
Please also use the ”Report” button in cases of ‘Hate’ postings.”

This is my personal view. 🙂 It is, however, off topic. 🙁

These conversations should allow constructive exchanges of views and information about the topic covered in the introduction, with occasional off-topic excursions. They are hosted by Which? who are responsible for keeping them on track, and keeping them free from abusive comments, offensive comments, and suchlike as given in their guidelines. For many years this seems to have worked well.

The danger of departing from this is that some contributors will be put off commenting in case they get a harsh or unpleasant reaction from other contributors. Some may just lose interest if the conversation is continually off-topic particularly if, for example, it has a political theme, and I would not like to see these conversations change to that style.

It is for Which? to state the rules for commenting, for us to read their guidelines and respect them if we want to contribute, and if we have constructive views that might amend these, then post them, I suggest, under the “New Conversation” topic found under “Technology”.

Amen to that Malcolm. I am already boycotting comments which I consider to be in breach of Which? T & C’s.

Everything is political, some things are Political.
Community is a ”mantra” which is oft chanted about this forum – that implies elements of Community Co-operative management, rather than centralizm, or oligarchic determanizm based on length of membership; # of postings or some other quantitative factor.
Elliot Volkman, in ”Social Media Today” suggests the following in discussing
*** Roles in an online community***

Although online societies differ in content from real society, the roles people assume in their online communities are quite similar. There are several categories of people that play a role in the cycle of social networking, these include:

Community architect – Creates the online community, sets goals and decides the purpose of the site.
Community manager – Oversees the progress of the society. Enforces rules, encourages social norms, assists new members, and spreads awareness about the community.
Professional member – This is a member who is paid to contribute to the site. The purpose of this role is to keep the community active.
Free members – These members visit sites most often and represent the majority of the contributors. Their contributions are crucial to the sites’ progress.
Passive lurker – These people do not contribute to the site but rather absorb the content, discussion, and advice.
Active lurker – Consumes the content and shares that content with personal networks and other communities.
Power users – These people push for new discussion, provide positive feedback to community managers, and sometimes even act as community managers themselves. They have a major influence on the site and make up only a small percentage of the users.
In terms of the discussion concerning Beavis V ”EyeFine”, it is clear that there are two dominant schools of thought concerning the way that a Free Market economy and a Country are run:
** Know the rules
** Accept the rules, irrespective of who has set them
** Obey the rules
** Accept the punishment if you transgress.
** Don’t rock the boat by protesting.

** The price of freedom is eternal vigilance [Leonard Henry Courtney]
** The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!”
― Brian Cox

If current orthodoxy had not been challenged:
** signs proclaiming ”No blacks, no Irish, no dogs” would still be extant
** the sun would still be circulating round the earth
** universal suffrage would be a dream
** men bearing red flags would proceed motor cars
** travel at greater than 20 mph would still result in instant death, or madness.

** It is the role of Which? to challenge
** It is the role of Which? members to help determine and support such challenges
** It is the role of members of Which? to challenge Which? on both tactics and strategy.
It can be postulated that previously quiescent Lurkers will be galvanized to join and contribute to these columns when they view a dynamic wind of progressive change sweeping thru’ and causing eddies of live debate.

One striking example of this Wind of Change [in UK society] is the massive influx of previously a-political youth into the Labour Party, and the ripples being seen in membership of other pressure groups.

Bob Dylan sang of such change, decades ago – it’s worth singing those lyrics again now.

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+ 1
An exact hit on the nail head.

Machiavelli observed that the leaders of the Fifth column should be the first to be put to the sword when the conqueror entered the defeated city.
** They had once proved to be traitors to their own, so could not be trusted
** In many cases they had inflated expectations of their role in the new regime, roles which were already designated to others, more trusted.

Off topic but its my last post in this topic.
I have tried to get his topic restarted properly and on topic
I apologised at another although reading back I do not what for but nevertheless maybe someone see’s my writing different than I mean.
It would have been according to the way I was brought up been nice to have received a thanks for bowing my head at the very suggestion that I may have caused offence and even before trying to figure out how I had achieved this dire deed.
Everyone should be allowed to have their say and those who do not like what they hear should not be offended just because whatever is said is not to their policy or is contrary to their notions.
Mr Ozzy appears at the top of this page but despite me not liking the man in the slightest I dont take offence at his not so manly face.
I was never anything other than non conformist and will most likely remain so.
In other words I speak my mind and would be offended if I could not.

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Thanks guys.
I enjoy debate and I do take it to heart but hope I dont take offence unless in engineering or factual where something fits or doesnt. If a comment is ill founded and based on notions which many are and I know different I will most certainly come at it. I am having trouble keeping my nose out of the energy thing at moment.
Josef. Keep it going. I will have to tell you that I often do not get or understand where you are coming from or going as to how it may be viewed but bring it on
Your knowledge of writers and history is something that prompts me to look things up.
Enjoy, everyone and I mean everyone, there no use in taking the hump because someone has a different view. Perhaps I am a bit out on a whim at times but I am but one.

+ 1
”Well I would do that, wouldn’t I.”

If you only knew how much ‘heart’ such comments from you, and others, give me it would generate so much ‘Glow’ you could turn your central heating off from now ’til next Thursday.

+ 1

Heart felt, and my heart felt that too.
And what a delight to be able to place myself adjacent to two people who recognize that it is the nature of human to human discourse to wander off topic, even if it’s to have a cuppa and compare Earl Grey with Lapsang.
Then to return, willingly, not herded, to the topic – refreshed and incharge of our destiny-ette.
On restarting this Topic, I shall surf back to your input, Deekay, and see if I can help heave this vehicle out of its slumber.

(He’s) Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy)

My comment was directed at Mr O…………………………of course.
And is a satirical remark – not sarcastic – BUT at his Budget – not at him personally, ‘coz that would get me …………….. Aaaaarrrrrrgggghhhhhhh

”moneysavingexpert : Hidden retrospective hike in student loans repayments a ‘disgrace’
By Paloma Kubiak, News Reporter 25 NOVEMBER 2015
Buried on page 126 of the Autumn Statement ……
Millions of graduates will soon have to repay much more of their loans than they were initially told after the Government secretly backtracked on a promise – a move MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has branded “a disgrace”.
Currently, students in England who started university from 2012 will pay 9% of everything earned above £21,000 a year (or £1,750/month pre-tax salary) once they graduate. See our Student Loans Mythbusting guide for the full information.
In 2010, the Government promised that from April 2017 this repayment threshold would be upped each year in line with average earnings. This meant graduates would have been spared having to repay more of their income towards their student loans, and fewer would have had to start repaying them in the first place.
It has now backtracked on the promise given to students, effectively hiking costs retrospectively. A move that, according to the Government, will mean more than two million graduates will end up paying £306 more each year by 2020-21 if they earn over £21,000.
Disgracefully, this wasn’t announced by George Osborne in today’s speech.
Instead, it was buried on page 126 of the Autumn Statement.”

Cathy, BA Hons, come home –
You and your BA Hons, boyfriend, both of you in good jobs but up to your neck in debt to get the qualifications that this country so desperately needs, have got to have a stable environment to try to save get the deposit on a back-to-back in need of renovation.
Cathy, BA Hons, Come home, and even tho’ we’ve been downsized because of the bedroom tax, we’ll get a camp bed in and manage some how.
Cathy, BA Hons, Come home.

We have ignition


DeeKay says:
Lets see if we can get the ball rolling again. Even if we wander off topic from time to time, I think for the most part we near all mean well and should be tolerated.
After all tolerance stops wars and meeting with tolerance shown has a big part to play in any discussion whether face to face on on this anonymis format.

. . . .

After the EU’s slow action to improve vehicle emission testing, the Chancellor announced a delay to the removal of the diesel supplement for company cars until 2021.
Would anyone like to voice and opinion??? Or maybe we are all retired???
JosefKafka says:5 days 3 minutes ago
”Honest John”’s web site tells me:
Spending review: diesel company car tax supplement to stay Published 25 November 2015

Company car drivers in diesel cars will not see a drop in their tax payments in 2016, as chancellor George Osborne announced the 3 per cent supplement in BIK tax will stay until 2021.

Since the CO2 emissions-based company car tax system was introduced in 2002, most diesel cars have been subject to a 3 per cent supplement on their tax bands, which was planned to be lifted from April 2016.

It would have meant that petrol and diesel company cars with the same levels of CO2 emissions would fall into the same BIK tax bands.

But perhaps swayed by recent news stories about diesel emissions, Osborne said in his spending review statement that the supplement would remain in place intil 2021.

Osborne told the House of Commons: “In the light of the slower than expected introduction of a more rigorous EU emissions testing [procedure] we will delay the removal of the diesel supplement on company cars until 2021.”

”But perhaps swayed by recent news stories about diesel emissions, Osborne said in his spending review statement that the supplement would remain in place intil 2021.

Osborne told the House of Commons: “In the light of the slower than expected introduction of a more rigorous EU emissions testing [procedure] we will delay the removal of the diesel supplement on company cars until 2021.”
More likely seeing a passing bandwagon, he jumped on board in an attempt to mitigate the financial jolt he’d received in other areas of his austerity is a must , campaign.
Add to that the savings he’s made on Gov’t support for nasty feminist charities by diverting the take from the Tampon Tax to those horrid harridans, and the lad done good, according to one unnamed MP.

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”By the way Josef all your old emails are coming back to me … ”
You mean that you’re being sent copies of all my deleted comments posted on this site?
That’s more than I can obtain despite off line demands – Ooops, humble requests.

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Ref NGOs

Try this for size, D L

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Ahh, the days of that OVERT Cold War Warrior, subsidized up to the hilt by CIA

Reader’s Digest

Not a Dentist, nor Doctor’s, waiting room without a pile of them in those days.

Local authorities in England and Wales will no longer be allowed to give council house tenants life-time housing contracts and that they will be limited to ,at the most 5 years.
I heard a discussion on BBC R 4 on the 5 O/c News prog.
Some chinless, clueless, son of wealth [ccsow]proposed that the move would solve the housing crisis in double quick time.
The son of a ”Milli” argued against that notion – a sprightly lad by the name of Owen Jones. He proposed that building houses would help solve the problem.
ccsow was decidedly not convinced, and seemed to relish the creation of ghettos of the
” … poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind, [Luke 14:21]

[Whereupon god, being a just god, did strike him dead.]

That 5 year policy is dreadful. How can a family or person settle into this type of housing
The practice of selling off Council Housing was and is flawed in my eyes anyhow.
Now there s little or no chance for the low income populus getting affordable housing
Typical. The policy makers want us all to hand to serve their every need but the very people who are often the providers in schools, hospitals an so on get fined for being alive.

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I think you have that the wrong way round, DL; they spend a lot of their time thinking more of how they can increase their own wealth. However, what really worries me are the sharp divisions that are taking place. I suspect we’re becoming more divided now, as a nation, than at any time since the mid-1980s and that could lead to all manner of problems.

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That despoiler of Listed Buildings, Teresa Gorman, successor as Conservative MP for Billericay to a well known partially house trained polecat – and then a defector to UKIP – once labeled Super Mac, Harold Macmillan, a closet socialist.
Following Super Mac’s last speech in the Lords against Thatcher’s sell off of the ”Family Silver”, and now how this present lot are selling off the stainless steel, and the lead off the roof, it does make the man of ”The night of the Long Knives” look at least slightly liberal.

You did mean the 18…80s , didn’t you ;-))

If council housing was subsidised to provide accommodation for those unable to afford private rents, then if a tenant’s finances improve sufficiently for them to enter the private sector it seems reasonable to free up the house for another needy family. We should not have sold off these houses, whether to tenants or others. They fulfilled a social need and should have been kept for that purpose but with conditional tenancies.

The problem was not selling off the houses – which helped people who otherwise would not have been able to own their own home – but doing this without having first built at least as many new council houses.

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I don’t see the role of council housing as providing subsidised home ownership. They should be there to help those families who could not otherwise afford to rent. At least the present home ownership subsidy is retrieved by the government (taxpayers) when the home is sold. I don’t believe the gain in price of ex-council houses was recovered to help fund new ones, was it? Unless it was sold fairly quickly.

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Technically, Which? is a NGO.

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1.0….. ‘Council Houses’ have been paid for from rents over and over again – so the income from rents is now mainly a surplus, which could be spent on building new houses, just the same way that Housing Associations function.
But the Thatcher legislation, and the ever tightening screws on the finances has seen that possibility thrown out of the window.
So nix on this subsidy propaganda from the Rachmanite Landlords and their Tory puppets.
2.0….. What is it about the word HOME that you don’t seem to understand.
Or seem to want to mis-understand?
Even a 15 y old understands that one of the BASIC needs of all humans is Safe and Secure accommodation = a HOME
Abraham Maslow, back in 1943 published that evidence :


3.0….. Some Spivs wish to dismiss Prof Maslow’s evidence as Socialist non-sense; anti-business claptrap, and the like.
So they propose the modern version of the Hated Means Test to force people out of their HOMES, and into the overpriced, profit oriented slums they run.
4.0….. That in its turn has an adverse effect on the aspirations of the tenants of Council houses (Remember they must NOT be called HOMES.)
Spiv Puppet [SP] = ”Hey you, subsidy sucking leeches living in a Council house.
Tenants [Ts]”Yes, Sir?”
SP = I’ve been looking up your total income on Iain Duncan Smith’s Data base.
Ts = Thank you Sir.
SP = If you applied for a promotion in your job, or worked 7 days a week instead of only 6.5 you could up your income
Ts = Thank you Sir. Why do you want us to do that, Sir?
SP = Gawd, you subsidy sucking leeches living in a Council house really ARE as thick as people in my club say you are.
Ts = Thank you, Sir. Please explain it to we subsidy sucking leeches living in a Council house who really ARE as thick as people in your club say we are.
SP = Hand-face. If you earn more money, that will mean that you’re not entitled to be subsidy sucking leeches living in a Council house, who really ARE as thick as people in my club say you are.
Ts = Thank you Sir. What will that mean, Sir?
SP = You’ll be thrown out of your house and have to live in one of my boss’s profit making slums.
Ts = Thank you Sir – can we think about it?
SP = ‘spose so, but the Gov’t is going to LOWER the level of income that entitles you to be, subsidy ….
Ts = Yes Sir we know that part by heart now Sir. It’s in Mr Murdoch’s papers every day. Why would they do that, Sir?
SP = I’ll be back on Thursday to explain it, with a court order to evict you issued by ….
Ts = Floods of tears, heartbreak, time off work, calls on the services of NHS, possible early death, ….
Is this the society that WE really, really, really DO want and NEED?
Is it?

It seems that there’s a NET agreement that this IS

” … the society that WE really, really, really DO want and NEED.”

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How can the government justify charging the same rate of council tax for us pensioners as it does for two people in work??
Legal SCAM???.

No taxes have different rates according to the age of the citizen. The costs of living are part of the state retirement pension calculation.

Pensions are covered by the “triple lock” which guarantees that the basic state retirement pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation, or average earnings growth, whichever is largest. Over recent years pensions have been rising faster than earnings due to the triple lock. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that “between April 2010 and April 2016 the value of the state pension increased by 22.2%, compared to growth in earnings of 7.6% and growth in prices of 12.3% over the same period.” That means pensioners have seen their incomes rise much faster than earnings and outpacing price inflation. If inflation persists at over 3% then the state pension will be uprated by that percentage, or more if average earnings growth exceeds that rate of increase.

Other points to bear in mind are that the first £11,500 of income is tax-free [the personal tax allowance exceeds the full state pension], that working people will generally pay much more tax than pensioners, and that many pensioners [those with low incomes or entitled to certain benefits] could be eligible for Council Tax Support from their local council.

The amount of Council Tax payable is related to the value band of the property occupied and each local authority sets ts own taxes; no income tax mechanism can make allowances for those factors but people living in smaller properties will always have a lower Council Tax bill than those in larger ones [all other things being equal]. There is a 25% discount for those in single occupation.

Would you prefer council tax to be a local income tax, or to means test? Many pensioners are far better off than a working family.