A Lot Can Happen in Nine Months

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement produced few surprises and no giveaways.

In March 2013, George Osborne’s job security looked similar to that of a Premier League manager. Talk was of a triple dip recession, government borrowing was stuck at £120bn and the Office for Budget Responsibility was running out of red ink for its projections.

Nine months later, the Chancellor was able to present his Autumn Statement having avoided the triple dip recession and with economic recovery seemingly on a solid footing. He could even talk of a budget surplus being in sight, albeit not until 2018/19.  There the rosy picture stopped: 18 months before a general election is not the time for giveaways. Thus the raft of announcements and re-announcements ended up as tax-neutral.   The main points of interest were:

New ‘simplified’ IHT rules for trusts will be introduced from April 2015, following further consultation.