Autumn Statement 2015: Business announcements

Chancellor George Osborne has finished delivering the first Autumn Statement of the new Conservative government. 

The speech contained many measures aimed at businesses. Here is a summary of the main business announcements:

Business rates

The uniform business rate is to be abolished. From 2020, local councils will be able to keep all the money made from collecting business rates to spend on local services.

Councils will also have the power to cut rates by the end of this parliament, while elected mayors will be able to raise them if they are used to fund infrastructure projects.

The small business rate relief scheme has been extended for another 12 months.

The overall review of business rates announced previously will report at the Budget.

Northern Ireland

The devolution of corporation tax powers to Northern Irish Executive will see the new rate set at 12.5%.

Apprenticeship levy

As part of the plan to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020, a new levy will be set at a rate of 0.5% of an employer's wage bill from April 2017.
There will also be a £15,000 allowance for individual employers, meaning that the levy will only apply to employers with wage bills over £3 million.

Digital tax accounts

Every business will have their own digital tax account by the end of the decade.

Tax evasion

The government has committed an extra £800 million to combat tax evasion.

Company cars

Due to the introduction of the EU emissions testing being slower than previously expected, the removal of the diesel supplement from company cars will not happen until 2021.

Stamp duty

From April 2016, new rates of stamp duty that are 3% higher will be introduced on the purchase of additional properties for the purposes of buy-to-let.

Sixth form colleges

Sixth form colleges will be allowed to become academies. This will mean that they are no longer liable for VAT.

Read our overview of the measures relating to personal finance and other announcements.