By Jonathan Davies

The Chancellor George Osborne confirmed plans to review the business rates system in the Autumn Statement.

The Chancellor said the current system, which was a hot topic when we asked you want you wanted to hear from the Autumn Statement, is "unfair" and said "that High Street shops pay an awful lot compared with their internet competitors".

Mr Osborne also confirmed that business rates relief will be doubled for another year. In an unexpected move, it was also revealed that business rates will be fully devolved to the Welsh government.

John Allan, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman, said: “The FSB is delighted to see the double small business rate relief remain for another year and a full review of the outdated business rates system, something we’ve long argued for."

Peter Burgess, Managing Director at Retail Human Resources, said: “It was vital that the Chancellor extended the package of relief measures he put in place in last year’s Autumn Statement.

"A reduction in business rates for all town centres will help them revive. This could also be easily paid for by raising council tax on wealthy homes and suburbs which, in turn, removes the needs for the much discussed mansion tax.”


The Chancellor also confirmed that the Treasury will guarantee £500m of bank lending to SMEs and the extension of the £400m funding scheme.

Phil Orford MBE, Chief Executive at the Forum of Private Business, said: “Announcements of additional British Business Bank and the extension of the Funding for Lending scheme are also welcome measures to address ongoing small business confidence issues around the ability to obtain the finance they need to grow."


The Autumn Statement was filled with forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Firstly, the Chancellor explained that economic growth for 2014 is forecast to be 3%, up from previous estimates of 2.4% and 2.7%. Growth next year is likely to be 2.4%, with 2.2%, 2.4% and 2.3% to follow in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.

George Osborne and the Conservative government have faced huge criticism over the size of the UK's budget deficit after they said it would be running a surplus by this time.

He explained that whilst the deficit had been cut, more still needs to be done. He said that the UK would "out of the red and into the black" by 2019/20.

Stamp duty

Many economic and political analysts were surprised by the announcement made on stamp duty. The Chancellor said it would be reformed in a way which will benefit 98% of home-buyers.

Stamp duty on the most expensive 2% of homes, however, will go up - leading some people to dub it the Tories' answer to the "mansion tax".

The changes come into effect at midnight tonight.


Following the announcement made over the weekend, George Osborne confirmed that the NHS would receive £2bn in extra funding every year for the the next five years.

He also announced £1.2bn investment in GP services.

Google Tax

Another measure which was expected prior to the Statement, the Chancellor announced what is widely being referred to as the "Google tax". Multinational companies which divert their profits elsewhere through 'clever accounting' will be taxed 25% on their profits in crackdown on corporation tax avoidance.

The Chancellor also announced plans to crackdown on various other forms of tax avoidance.

Other announcements

Other announcements include:

- Air Passenger Duty for under 12s will be abolished, with duty for under 16s to be scrapped next year.

- The government will pay off its remaining World War One debt.

- Fuel duty will continue to be frozen.

- Investment in businesses, academics, R&D and cultures to create a northern economic powerhouse.

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