George Osborne did not have great tidings to impart when he presented his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons on 29 November 2011. The best he could offer the ordinary taxpayer was a freeze in road fuel duty until 1 August 2012, when it will increase by 3.02p per litre. Train and tube fares were due to rise by a whopping 8.2% next year, but this rise will be limited to (wait for it...) 6.2%.
Businesses who occupy small commercial premises receive some generosity with an extension to the business rates relief scheme to 1 April 2013 (already extended for a year to 1 October 2012). Different business rates relief schemes apply in England, Wales and Scotland so ask your local authority what relief applies to your building. Occupiers of larger business premises may be able to defer payment of up to 60% of the increase in business rates for up to two years.
Other key tax announcements for businesses and individuals were:
Further detail on the new tax rules and rates will be announced on 6 December 2011, so we will cover any significant items for small businesses in our January 2012 newsletter.