On 5 December, the Chancellor of the Exchequer released the
Government's annual Autumn Statement, setting out the state of the
economy and key policy announcements.
Key announcements made by the Government in its Autumn Statement
- Unemployment to fall from 7.6% in 2013 to 7% in 2015 and 5.6%
- Deficit forecast to fall from 7.5% to 6.8% in 2013
- Deficit forecast to be 5.6% in 2014
- Britain expected to run small budget surplus in 2018-19
- Debt forecast to be 75.5% of GDP this year - £18bn lower than
expected - and 78.3% in 2014.
Savings, pensions and social care:
The government has previously announced that it will, for the
first time, introduce a cap on welfare spending. Autumn Statement
2013 announces how this new cap will operate in detail:
- The cap will apply to all social security and personal tax
credits expenditure for the UK, with specific exceptions for the
basic and additional State Pension and the most cyclical elements
- The precise level of the cap will be set at Budget 2014 and
reviewed at the beginning of each Parliament.
- The purpose of the cap is to protect against medium-term,
structural deteriorations in welfare spending.
The government will reform apprenticeship funding to ensure that
employers are at the heart of the system and it delivers skills
that meet the demands of UK businesses. The government will develop
a model which uses HMRC systems to route apprenticeship funding
direct to employers. The government will consult on the technical
details of the system in early 2014, and on the option of an
alternative funding route for the smallest businesses.
The government also commits to:
- introduce a compulsory employer cash contribution for a
significant proportion of the external training costs of an
apprentice (excluding English and maths)
- provide an additional contribution to the costs of training for
16 to 17 year olds and separately consider the approach for 18 year
- introduce a number of caps on the maximum government
contribution per apprentice
The government will provide an additional contribution of £40
million to deliver an additional 20,000 higher apprenticeships
starts in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.
HM Revenue and Customs will fund employers directly for taking
on apprentices. The Government wants an extra 20,000 higher
apprenticeships over the next two years.
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