Chancellor vows to stamp out bogus self employment

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
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Chancellor George Osborne  warned his job was not done in the Autumn Statement yesterday but said Britain was well on course for a strong recovery.

He said the Government would now roll out the largest package of measures to tackle tax avoidance for more than a decade, raising £9bn over five years.

This includes a clampdown on payroll companies disguising employment as false self employment.

According to latest Treasury estimates around 300,000 workers in construction were in this position – costing more than £380m.

The government will consult on strengthening existing legislation to ensure the correct amount of tax and NICs are paid where the worker is, in effect, employed, with effect from April 2014.

The Chancellor also said the Government wanted more people to own a home which meant the country needed to build new homes.

“Residential construction is growing at fastest rate in a decade. We need to do more. This week I am launching £1bn in loans to help unlock big sites.”

The first loans will be targeted at sites in Leeds and Manchester to get house building moving.

Overall, the six-year programme is expected to support the development of up to 250,000 homes.

The programme will begin in 2014-15, with investment decisions on nine specific sites, capable of unlocking around 27,000 houses.

Around £50m will be earmarked for Local Enterprise Partnership supported bids, to deliver on their ambitions for housing growth.

He also relaxed the borrowing cap imposed on councils to pave the way for them to build an estimated 10,000 homes.

Local authorities, who have argued for more housebuilding freedoms, said the £300m two-year relaxation plan did not go far enough. Removing the borrowing cap completely would have allowed them to build 60,000 new homes.

The Chancellor said he would give the Bank of England power to deal with asset bubbles if they threatened economic stability but said recent price growth presented no risk.

He said: “House prices have risen but the OBR forecast this will not create overheating and will still be 3.1% lower in 2018 compared to 2007.”

Autumn statement at a glance

Construction

  • £11m to help build Higgs Centre at University of Edinburgh
  • £30m towards planned Garden Bridge over the Thames
  • £1bn in loans to boost housing developments in Manchester and Leeds, among other sites.
  • The Housing Revenue Account borrowing limit to rise by £300m, delivering extra 10,000 homes.
  • Councils to sell off the most expensive social housing and rundown urban housing estates to be regenerated.
  • The government will consult on a new 10 unit threshold
    for section 106 affordable housing contributions to reduce costs for smaller builders.

Economy

  • Growth forecasts revised up from 0.6% to 1.4% this year and next year revised up from 1.8% to 2.4%
  • In 2018-19, the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts small cash surplus.
  • Unemployment down from 7.6% this year to 7% in 2015

Taxes

    • Personal income tax allowance will rise to £10,000 from April 2014
    • From April 2015, non-residents to pay capital gains tax on homes in the UK.
    • Business rates to be capped at 2%

Education

  • 30,000 more student places allowed
  • Extra 20,000 apprenticeships funded over the next two years
  • £150m to be spent on school kitchens to fund free meals pledge

Transport

  • Autumn fuel duty rise cancelled

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