Welfare cuts

Mr Osborne plans to find 12bn of savings over the course of this parliament in these main areas:

  • A freeze on working age benefits for 4 years, excluding those for pensioners, statutory and disability based payments

  • The household benefit cap will drop from 26,000 to 20,000 (23,000 in London

  • Child tax credits will only be paid for your first 2 children (will apply to children born after April, 2017)

  • Anyone aged 18-21 will have to take training, an apprenticeship or go on a work placement 6 months after making a claim for Universal Credit

  • Social housing rents will drop by 1% each year for 4 years, with high income tenants being made to pay market rate rents

  • Tax credits will start to be withdrawn once your household earns 3,850 a year (down from 6,420) from 2016.

New Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claims will be scrapped for those who are deemed able to work - they will instead be paid the lower Jobseeker's Allowance.

Employment and pay

A new compulsory National Living Wage for over 25 year olds will be introduced from April, 2016, starting at 7.20 per hour, rising to 9 per hour by 2020.

The Low Pay Commission will advise on any future changes with the aim of ensuring the National Living Wage reaches 60% of the UK median income.

Public sector pay increases will continue to be capped at 1% for the next 4 years.

Income tax rates will stay the same but the annual personal allowance (the amount you can earn before paying income tax) will increase to 11,000 next year.

The threshold for paying higher rate income tax at 40% will also rise from 42,385 to 43,000 from April, 2016.

3 million new apprenticeships will be created by 2020.

Pensions

The government plans to consult on proposals to make pensions more similar to ISAs, where pension contributions are taken after you pay income tax and then paid in retirement tax free.

Pension contributions relief for high earners (over 150,000) will fall by 1 for every 2 of income over 150,000 down to a minimum of 10,000.

Travel

Road tax will be overhauled, with new vehicle excise duty bands being brought in for new cars from 2017. 95% of new car owners will pay 140 a year, while existing car owners will pay the same or less under the new system.

An MOT will now only be required for a new vehicle after 4 years, not 3.

Fuel duty will be frozen this financial year.

Housing and landlords

Buy-to-let tax relief is being cut to the standard rate of tax for all claimants by April, 2020.

Rent-a-Room relief, which currently lets you earn up to 4,250 a year tax free by renting out a room in your home, will increase to 7,500 from April, 2016.

Students

Student maintenance grants will be scrapped and replaced with loans from the 2016-17 academic year.

These new student maintenance loans will increase to a maximum of 8,200 and will have to be paid back by students once they start earning at least 21,000 per year.

Inheritance tax

A new additional Inheritance Tax allowance has been announced for your main residence, in addition to the standard 325,000 allowance and will be:

  • Up to 100,000 in 2017-18

  • Up to 125,000 in 2018-19

  • Up to 150,000 in 2019-20

  • Up to 175,000 in 2020-21

This allows couples to leave up to 1m of assets (including the family home) to their children or grandchildren from April 2020 without paying inheritance tax.

Savings and investments

A new 5,000 tax-free dividend allowance will be introduced from April, 2016, replacing dividend tax credit, meaning you pay no tax on the first 5,000 you earn from investment dividends.

The tax rates on dividend income above this allowance will increase to.

  • 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers

  • 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers

  • 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers

Childcare

Parents of 3 and 4 year old children will qualify for 30 hours of free childcare a week, up from 15 hours a week, from September 2017.

Parents receiving Universal Credit who are able to work and claiming the free childcare must look for work and will be given extra support by JobCentre Plus.

Insurance and claims management

Insurance premium tax will increase to 9.5% from November, 2015, which could cause insurance prices to rise.

The charges levied by Claims Management companies will be capped.