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ISLAND’S RESPONSE TO AUTUMN STATEMENT

autumnstatementThere has been a positive response to the Cancellor’s Autumn Statement this week from the Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, however MP candidate Stewart Blackmore says the Government have broken every promise they made on the economy. 

Mr Turner says that many Island people will feel the benefits of the measures, which were announced on Wednesday.

Some of the measures in the Autumn Statement include:

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  • To help increase staffing in the under-resourced Care Industry, the £2000 employers allowance is to be extended to carers;
  • Husbands and wives whose partners die before reaching 75 will get annuity income from their spouse’s pension tax-free;
  • To further support small to medium sized businesses there will be an increase in tax credits for research and development and an extension for small business rate relief for a further year;
  • To help savers, the ISA level is to be raised from £15,000 to £15,400 next year;
  • For those of working age the tax free personal allowance is to be increased to £10,600 next year, taking 3.2 million of the lowest earning people out of paying tax altogether and for people in the higher tax bracket the threshold is to be raised from £41,865 to £42,385 next year;
  • The Government’s target of three million apprenticeships will be helped by the Chancellor’s announcement that employers NI is to be abolished for apprentices under the age of 18;
  • To encourage growth in the housing market and help those people wishing to buy their own home, the archaic ‘slab’ calculation of Stamp Duty has been abolished. This has the effect from midnight last night that stamp duty has been reduced, with a real-terms reduction in the level of Stamp Duty that 98% of house buyers will now have to pay.

Mr Turner said:

“There are many benefits in the Chancellor’s Statement which will directly affect Island people.  With a large elderly population it is important we have sufficient carers and I know it will be a relief to many people that they will now be able to pass on their pension after their death without the worry that their relatives will have to pay 55% tax.

“The Island is home to a large number of small to medium sized businesses for whom extra tax breaks and more investment in research will be a huge boost, and I’m sure that incentives to take on more apprentices will help both them and young Island people starting out on the jobs ladder.  For Island employees who earn the minimum wage, the increase in the personal allowance will make a real difference to their standard of living.

“The removal of the ‘slab’ system of calculating stamp duty is very welcome, and will help to level out the housing market as well as reducing costs for the vast majority of those buying a home on the Island.

“Clearly there is still much more to be done but, after listening to the Chancellor’s announcements, there can’t be any doubt that the economy is improving and we are certainly moving in the right direction.”

Meanwhile Stewart Blackmore, the Island’s Labour MP candidate, has said:

“David Cameron and George Osborne have now failed every test and broken every promise they made on the economy. They promised living standards would rise, but while millionaires have got a huge tax cut working people are now £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories. The OBR has today revised its forecast for wages: down this year and next year.

“This cost-of-living crisis is why the Chancellor has been forced to admit today that he has broken his promise to balance the books before the election. Because he has failed to deliver rising living standards he has now borrowed £219 billion more than he planned in this Parliament.

“Borrowing has been revised up by £12.5 billion this year and next. Growth is set to slow next year and the year after – and has been downgraded in every year after 2016.

“What we needed was a better and fairer plan to deliver a recovery that works for the many and not just a few. Labour’s economic plan will raise the minimum wage, expand free childcare for working parents, get more homes built and cut business rates for small firms.

“We will balance the books in a fairer way, starting by reversing the £3 billion a year tax cut for the top one per cent of earners and we will save and transform our National Health Service with a fully-funded long-term plan. We will raise an extra £2.5 billion a year to deliver 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs – a commitment the Tories refuse to match”.

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