Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has made his Autumn Statement, an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. One of the main points of the report was that growth forecasts for this year more than doubled from 0.6% to 1.4%, for next year were revised upward from 1.8% to 2.4%, and for the following four years to 2.2%, 2.6%, 2.7% and 2.7%. It also showed that business rates in England and Wales were capped at 2% rather than linked to RPI inflation, with some retail premises in England to get a discount on their business rates.
In terms of transport, the Autumn Statement announced that the tax disc is to be replaced by an electronic system. The Chancellor declared that next year’s fuel duty rise is to be scrapped and petrol taxes frozen. It was also announced that regulated train fares are to rise in line with inflation, not at the 1% above RPI as planned. However, there were no announcements made concerning bus or coach fares.