In his Autumn Statement last month George Osborne announced a number of measures to help businesses grow and support families with cost of living pressures. Here’s a quick round up of the changes you can expect:

For growing businesses:

To help business grow and create jobs and to provide help for the high street, the government is:

  • introducing a cap on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) increase in business rates in England to 2% in 2014-15
  • introducing a £1,000 business rates discount to help the high street
  • doubling the Small Business Rate Relief for a further 12 months from 1 April 2014 to help 540,000 firms
  • making it cheaper for businesses to employ young people by abolishing National Insurance contributions for under-21s earning below £813 per week
  • introducing a new tax relief for shale gas and support for the creative industries

To support families with cost of living increases:

  • freezing fuel duty for the remainder of this Parliament, saving the average motorist £11 every time they fill up their tank by 2015-16
  • introducing the married couples transferable tax allowance, benefitting eligible couples by up to £200 in 2015-16
  • introducing reforms to save the average energy bill payer £50, whilst maintaining support for the poorest families
  • extending free school meals to all children in reception and years 1 and 2
  • cap the average increase in regulated rail fares for 2014 in line with the Retail Prices Index, complementing the decision by the Mayor of London to cap average fare increases in London for 2014
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