What Does the Autumn Statement Mean for Britain’s Tax System?

2nd December 2016

As the dust settles from the 2016 Autumn Statement, businesses and industry bodies have been reviewing the policy announcements delivered by Chancellor Philip Hammond. Regional investment was key, with a series of new initiatives to develop and upgrade digital, transport and housing infrastructure. Furthermore, the Chancellor reaffirmed the Government’s long-term commitment to the so-called ‘devolution revolution’, allocating £556 million to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the North of England, £542 million to the Midlands and East of England, and £683 million to LEPs in the South West, South East and London.

We have highlighted some of the most prominent government policies from the 2016 Autumn Statement that will impact British SMEs in our newly updated SME Heatmap – a motion infographic that you can view here.

While scale-up businesses were clearly front and centre, the Chancellor also stated that the Government will continue to engage in long-term tax reform, pledging to pursue existing measures to raise the tax-free allowance. The Autumn Statement did not introduce any additional layers to an already complicated tax infrastructure, but some noted that Chancellor Hammond missed an opportunity to simplify sections of Britain’s multi-layered tax system.

In 2015, a YouGov poll found that 53% of the British population considered the inheritance tax (IHT) to be “unfair”, ahead of Air Passenger Duty (46%) and VAT (39%). Taking around £3.5 billion a year, IHT equates to 0.25% of GDP. As part of the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that reforms to the (IHT) that were originally proposed to in the Summer Budget 2015 will be implemented from April 2017 onwards. Specifically, non-domiciled individuals who hold UK residential property within an overseas vehicle will be within the charge IHT.

To uncover what Briton’s really think about Britain’s tax system, IW Capital has surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 2,000 UK adults to reveal British sentiment towards the multitude of taxes they have to pay each year. Our research will be available next week to Access 42 members.

Register as a member of Access 42, here.