03 DEC 2014

The Autumn Statement includes a number of new measures which will benefit people and businesses in Wales.

Through Barnett Consequentials the Welsh Government's budget will benefit from £123m additional funding through 2015-16, bringing the total additional spending power given to it since 2010 to over £1.2bn.

Non-Domestic (Business) Rates will be fully devolved to the Welsh Government by April 2015, allowing decisions on business rates to be taken which best fit local priorities.

As part of this package we have agreed a fair budget settlement that means that Welsh Government annual budgets will increase by almost £100m once these reforms are given effect.

Reform of Stamp Duty Land Tax on purchases of residential property will result in SDLT being cut for 99% of the people in Wales who pay it. SDLT rates will apply to the portion of the purchase price within each band.

Other key measures include:

British Business Bank

Extensions to the Bank's Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) and Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) schemes will unlock up to £1billion of finance for smaller businesses.

In Wales, British Business Bank programmes unlocked £35m of finance benefitting over 800 smaller businesses up to October 2014. In the same period the EFG facilitated £15m of lending to over 100 smaller businesses.

Employment Allowance

From April 2015 the Employment Allowance, which provides a reduction of up to £2,000 on employers National Insurance bills, will be extended to include individuals employing care and support workers for themselves or a member of their family.

In the first six months since its launch in April 35,000 employers in Wales have benefitted from the Employment Allowance, a take up of 72%.

National Insurance Contributions

Employer National Insurance Contributions will be abolished for apprentices aged under 25.

Employers of around 22,000 apprentices in Wales could benefit from the abolition of NICs.

Broadband Voucher Scheme

The Super Connected Cities Programme will be extended from 22 cities nationwide to a potential 28 cities from April 2015.

The schemes in Cardiff and Newport are being extended for 12 months to March 2016. 279 vouchers have been issued to SMEs, charities, social enterprises and traders in these cities.

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

Closer discussions will start with Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd to establish whether the project to create the world's first man-made, energy generating lagoon is affordable and value for money for consumers.

Should the project go ahead, the developer estimates it would have a significant impact in terms of employment and the supply chain in Wales.

Personal Allowance

The Personal Allowance will be increased by £600 to £10,600 from 2015-16.

The increase will lift an additional 20,000 people in Wales out of income tax altogether and 1.1 million people will see an average real terms gain of £94.

Air Passenger Duty

From 1 May 2015 children under 12 will be exempt from Air Passenger Duty and the exemption will be extended to all children under 16 from 1 March 2016.

The exemption will save a two child family travelling from Cardiff Airport £26 for a short haul flight and £142 for a long haul flight.

VAT Refund Scheme for Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance Charities

From April 2015 search and rescue and air ambulance charities will be eligible for a VAT refund.

The VAT refund scheme will be available to at least 15 charities in Wales, including lifeboat charities, and will help to keep the coastline and mountains safe.

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