1. ITV Report

Breakdown of George Osborne's welfare announcements

Breakdown of George Osborne's welfare plans. Credit: Matt Morton/PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne detailed some of his party's welfare plans at the Conservative conference in Birmingham.

Here we look at some of the detail behind the biggest three announcements.

  • Freeze working age benefits for two years from April 2016

The Treasury hopes to save £3.2 billion a year by 2017/18 with the freeze. The benefits subject to the freeze include: jobseeker’s allowance, tax credits, universal credit, child benefit, income support and local housing allowance rates in housing benefit.

Disability, carer and pensioner benefits are excluded, as are several smaller benefits such as statutory maternity, paternity and sick pay.

Working age benefits in Britain will have to be frozen for two years. This is the choice Britain needs to take to protect our economic stability and to secure a better future. The fairest way to reduce welfare bills is to make sure that benefits are not rising faster than the wages of the taxpayers who are paying for them. For we will provide a welfare system that is fair to those who need it, and fair to those who pay for it too.

– George Osborne
  • Abolish the 55% tax rate on inherited pensions

Currently around 320,000 people retire each year with defined contribution pension savings, from April 2015 they will no longer be liable to pay the tax. The policy is expected to cost £150 million a year.

  • Clampdown on tax avoidance by multinational companies

Already becoming known as the 'Google tax' this will form part of a tax avoidance package announced in the autumn statement.

It is primarily aimed at "multinationals using artificial arrangements to route profits to tax havens that would otherwise have been taxed in the UK."

While we offer some of the lowest business taxes in the world, we expect those taxes to be paid - not avoided. Some technology companies go to extraordinary lengths to pay little or no tax here. If you abuse our tax system, you abuse the trust of the British people. And my message to those companies is clear: we will put a stop to it. Low taxes, but low taxes that are paid. Part of our effort to reduce our deficit. For our choice is that we are all in this together.

– George Osborne

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