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.
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.
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.
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.
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?