Autumn Statement 2013 - What it means for Wales

Autumn Statement 2013 - What it means for Wales

3rd December 2013

Barnett Consequentials

The Welsh Government will see a net increase of around £100 million over the next two years.

Silk Commission

A draft Wales Bill will be published in the current parliamentary session which will set out new borrowing powers to support capital investment, devolve stamp duty land tax and landfill tax in Wales, and provide for a referendum to be held so that people in Wales can decide whether responsibility for some of their income tax should be devolved.

Energy package

The Government is introducing measures to:

- Reform the Energy Company Obligation and offer a rebate to all electricity companies in GB
- Provide energy efficiency support worth £540m over 3 years to support home-buyers, private landlords and the public

This package of support will help more than 1.3 million households in Wales with the costs of their electricity bills.

These measures are expected to reduce the average bill by around £50.

Motoring package

The Government is supporting motorists by:

- Freezing the statutory maximum fee for MOT tests for cars at £54.85 until 2015
- Cancelling the rise in Fuel Duty planned for 1 September 2014
- Making changes to the administration of Vehicle Excise Duty

This will help support owners of the 1.75 million vehicles in Wales.

The MOT freeze alone will save up to £50m every year for UK car drivers, including the 1 million car owners in Wales.

Public Works Loan Board Project Rate

Local Authorities in Wales will be given access to cheaper borrowing for capital projects.

A total of £150m of project rate borrowing will be available to Welsh Local Authorities from 2014-15 to 2015-16 to support priority infrastructure projects in Wales, subject to agreement with the Welsh Government.

Support for a new nuclear power plant at Wylfa

The Government is entering into a cooperation agreement with Hitachi and Horizon with the aim of agreeing an in-principle guarantee by the end of 2016 to support the financing of a new nuclear power plant at Wylfa on Anglesey, subject to final due diligence and Ministerial approval.

Support for lending Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

The Government is announcing a package of further measures to promote lending to SMEs, including:

- Improvements to the SME lending Appeals Process
- Consulting on proposals to require banks to share information on SME customers
- Asking the Office of Fair Trading to take decisive action to end the practice of requiring SMEs to have a business current account to qualify for a loan

This will help the 192,825 SMEs in Wales to access finance and support their growth.

Start Up Loans

An additional £160 million will be provided for Start Up Loans to allow the scheme to expand to the over 30s and continue providing loans up to 2019.

This will continue support for a scheme that has already seen 10,000 loans providing totalling £50 million.

The scheme was launched in Wales in October 2013 and 16 loans have already been agreed.

Transferable tax allowances for married couples

A £1,000 transferable tax allowance for married couples and civil partners will be available from 2015-16.

This allowance will benefit 220,000 married couples in Wales.

Employer NICS for under 21s

The Government will abolish employer NICs for those under the age of 21.

There are 64,000 people in Wales under the age of 21 years whose jobs will be supported by the abolition of employer NICs. This measure could save businesses in Wales £15m.

Help to Work

A new package of targeted measures to support the very long term unemployed.

The package will help the 3,595 people in Wales who have been claiming JSA for more than 3 years to get back into work.

Cabinet Office 16-24 Review

The Government is supporting young people into work, including by:

- Opening up Jobcentres to 16 and 17 year olds to help them find apprenticeships and traineeships
- Piloting a new scheme of support for 18-21 year old claimants without Maths and English GCSEs

These measures form part of the Government’s work to support efforts to get young people across Great Britain into work.

There are currently 20,000 JSA claimants aged 18-24 in Wales.