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  1. National

Osborne announces stamp duty overhaul

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans for a total overhaul of the "badly-designed" stamp duty system paid on the purchases of homes.

The reform will mean new marginal rates that the Chancellor says will mean a stamp duty cut for 98% of homebuyers.

  • No tax on first £125,000 paid
  • 2% on the portion up to £250,000
  • 5% up to £925,000
  • 10% up to £1.5 million
  • 12% on everything over that

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  1. National

Air Passenger Duty to be scrapped for all children

Air Passenger Duty will be scrapped for all children by 2016, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

George Osborne hopes his announcement will reduce the cost of flights for families. Credit: PA Wire

"We’re going to require airlines to list the charges separately from taxes on tickets, but I also want to reduce the cost of those tickets for families directly.

"From the 1st May next year, Air Passenger Duty for children under 12 will be abolished. From the following year, we’ll get rid of APD for children under 16 altogether."

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi tweeted: "Birmingham family with 2 young children welcomes cut in air passenger duty."

"They will save £170 on planned flight to Dubai."

Fears that Hinkley nuclear plant is being delayed

The site for the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley in the shadow of the existing reactors Credit: ITV News

There are growing fears that the European Commission is delaying the building of a new power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. It's still to sign off all the building regulations surrounding the project.

Today Labour south west MEP Claire Moody will meet the Commission to try to speed up the process.

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VAT refunds for air ambulances and rescue helicopters

As well as VAT refunds, the Government has awarded £1m to GWAAC for the new air ambulance's first year in operation Credit: ITV News

As part of the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor is to announce VAT refunds for Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities alongside £7.5 million extra support for air ambulances.

The VAT refunds will be worth £25 million over 5 years.

It is in response to the service the UK’s Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities provide, volunteering their time and expertise to support to emergency services.

At the moment, most Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities cannot claim VAT back on their search and rescue activities but this means they will all be able to apply for VAT refunds for them as of 1 April 2015.

The Chancellor is also due to announce £1m for Great Western Air Ambulance, which will pay for the new helicopter's running costs in its first year of operation.

This is really fantastic news. The Great Western Air Ambulance [GWAA] does an amazing job, being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, saving lives, getting casualties to hospital quickly as well as being able to offer first class medical treatment at the scene.

This money, as well as helping with the cost of their new helicopter, will put the GWAA on a long-term sustainable financial footing which will enable them to continue their fabulous work for many years to come.

– Jack Lopresti MP, Con, Filton & Bradley Stoke

Full report: Black Friday fever hits the West

There have been chaotic scenes across the region today as shoppers tried to snap up bargains on what retailers have called 'Black Friday'.

Police were called to some stores in Bristol and Wiltshire as customers fought over discounted TVs and other goods.

Here is Tim Walsh's full report, featuring exclusive footage:

Could this be the first Christmas jumper for a cow?

Gloria looks very festive in her jumper - but it's also carrying an important message Credit: Send A Cow

Christmas jumpers - in varying degrees of tastelessness - have become fashionable festive wear but a charity based near Bath has come up with what it believes is the first to be worn by a cow.

Gloria, the mascot of Send a Cow, has had a jersey knitted for her (with natty Velcro straps) to highlight the charity's alternative gift catalogue. People are invited to come up with presents that can change the lives of families in Africa.

A local cow would set you - or your group - back £205 and would provide a farming family with milk and manure to keep their land fertile.

This year we’ve taken the idea of the quirky Christmas jumper one step further, to encourage people to think differently about the gifts they buy this Christmas.

Instead of buying chocolate for a friend, why not buy something unusual - for as little as £5 you will greatly improve the lives of poverty-stricken families in Africa.

This is our 13th year of the Christmas catalogue and over the years we’ve raised over £8 million to help poor families.

– Simon Barnes, CEO of Send a Cow

For more information go to the charity's website

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