We round up some of the key announcements, including thoise relating to businesses, tax avoidance and evasion, and education

Key political announcements

  • The tax-free personal allowance is being increased in April 2017, to £11,000 (£10,800 in 2016-17, and £11,000 the year after)
  • End of the annual tax return and introduction of new digital tax accounts
  • National Minimum Wage will increase to £6.70 this autumn
  • A new Personal Savings Allowance will take 95 per cent of taxpayers out of savings tax altogether
  • The government has introduced a Help to Buy ISA
  • ISAs will become more flexible, enabling people to take out their savings and pay them in again without losing the tax-free benefits
  • Fuel duty will be frozen again and there will be another penny off a pint, a two per cent cut for spirits and most ciders, and a freeze on duty on wine
  • From April 2016 pensioners will be given the freedom to sell their annuity for a cash lump sum
  • The design of the new £1 coin (due to come into circulation in 2017) has been unveiled

Business

  • Class 2 national insurance contributions (NICs) will be abolished in the next parliament and class 4 NICs reformed to introduce a new contributory benefit test
  • Corporation tax will fall to 20 per cent in April 2015
  • The bank levy will be raised from 0.156 per cent to 0.21 per cent from 1 April 2015. This will raise an additional £900 million a year
  • Greater Manchester councils will be allowed to keep 100 per cent of growth in business rates

Tax avoidance and evasion measures

  • Commitment to bringing forward legislation for the new Common Reporting Standard
  • Commitment to close loopholes to make sure Entrepreneurs’ Relief is only available to those selling genuine stakes in businesses
  • Corporation tax rules will be amended to prevent contrived loss arrangements
  • Commitment to issue more accelerated payments notices to those who hold out from paying the tax that is owed

Education

  • Consultation on proposal to offer loans of up to £25,000 for UK students studying for PhDs and research-based master’s degrees
  • Mental health services to get £1.25bn in extra funding