/ 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?


Whether by good luck, good judgement or a combination the country has been pulled back from a disastrous financial situation. Of course it is the people of the UK who have made this happen, but the framework and financial discipline needed to be put in place. So far, good for George.

I have two concerns (probably more) about policies though.

I do not believe we should ring fence overseas aid nor spend as much as we do. It is, I believe being widely misused for personal gain in some recipient states because it is not properly controlled, and it is going to countries that should be redistributing their own wealth in a more equitable way. Charity begins at home.

I do not believe we should be allocating the huge sums to defence – reputedly Trident could cost £40 bn. It is a pointless defence; we will never use it – if we did the lives it is designed to protect would probably be lost from retaliatory action. If anyone was foolish enough to wage war I, frankly, see no future for anyone if it were nuclear. I would much rather protect lives with this money in other more constructive ways – the NHS, social care, help for the genuinely vulnerable. It is just like being grossly over-insured in your home and then not being able to afford the essentials of life.

Apart from that I’m quite happy 🙂 Until I think of something else.


Making it easier for Londoners to buy homes, eh? Just what London needs – a more vibrant home buying market…

But the fact that the country has recovered probably has more to do with the fact that London still attracts bankers en masse, and it’s still a fairly secure city in international terms. But in many ways this mini-budget’s reactive: not going after Tax Credits will placate many in his own party whilst encouraging home owning will delight the remainder. Sadly, the really needed changes – a far superior form of public transport system throughout the UK and a move towards nuclear power as a backup until we secure fusion – didn’t even merit an aside.

S Louise says:
26 November 2015

Agree about NOT ring-fencing 0.7% GDP on Overseas aid, we should not be funding dubious projects or rushing to spend at the end of the financial year. Sometimes we’ll need to give more, but mostly far less.

Do t agree about getting rid if Trident…it’s rolling over to bullies.


S Louise -if only you knew who the bullies really are you only get one point of view in the west. NHS or Trident who pays the 99 % so they should decide not war-mongers, in the cause of Big Business -West losing profit ? Invade and conquer new territory for asset stripping of that country . And when the country is too big to threaten -WW3 just look out your window at the World its kept very quiet in the UK.


Ian, private sector jobs have increased far more than the public sector ones lost, and that will cover many industries and services other than banking. However, financial services are a big contributor to the economy.

I agree about public transport in one sense – in towns and cities to reduce pollution. I am not keen on promoting long distance commuting though. And particularly not HS2. Hardly of use to the “masses” (who will end up subsidising it for the few).We should be either encouraging businesses to move to cheaper (housing) areas where commuting is shorter.

As far as housing is concerned, we need lower cost homes in London, and other large cities, for the lower paid workers needed to make those cities work – police, teachers, medical staff, shop and restaurant workers and all the rest. But how to control the cost and make them affordable?

Nuclear power seems such an expensive option with the guaranteed prices offered. I would like money to be invested in tidal power. We are surrounded by water with some of the higher tides in the world. A ready source of clean energy on tap (well, nearly).


1)….. ” … private sector jobs have increased far more than the public sector ones lost, … ”
Please post your source.
2)….. Much of the increase has been in the ”Self employed” sector
ONS…. Self-employed workers in the UK – 2014
* Self-employment higher than at any point over past 40 years
* Rise in total employment since 2008 predominantly among the self-employed
* The number of over 65s who are self-employed has more than doubled in the past 5 years to reach nearly half a million
*** Average income from self-employment fallen by 22% since 2008/09
* Across the European Union the UK has had the third largest percentage rise in self-employment since 2009




The term ‘Private Sector’ hides a multitude of sins, Malcolm, as I’m sure you know. Increasingly, even small businesses are moving their employees to self employed status, since that dodges their responsibilities under employment law. I’m seeing that happen on a daily basis and, of course, it all appears as ‘new jobs’ on the stats of any right-leaning think tanks – which so many are.

In terms of wave power I agree a lot of investment is needed and whether we’re talking fission or water power it’s still billions. Although I have to say I’ve always wondered why they need to build such big nuclear plants. RR do sell some neat little units that would still power a moderate-size town.

But on the housing question – and especially in London – you’ve hit the nail neatly. Most (if not all) the boom and bust house price cycles have had their origins in the South East. The problem is not addressed simply by making it easier to buy properties in London as that will only serve to exacerbate the issue. Instead, the administration ought to be considering either imposing huge taxes on non-UK citizens wanting to buy houses in London or barring them completely. While they’re at it, they should legislate to prevent any national media from being owned by those who live overseas…