UK economy

Autumn Statement 2012: Kevin Peachey answers your questions

Kevin Peachey answering your questions
Image caption Kevin Peachey answering your questions

Following Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement, BBC business correspondent Kevin Peachey answered your questions submitted via Twitter - using #AskBBCPeachey - and the BBC News website in a live Q&A session on Thursday, 6 December, between 15:30 and 16:30 GMT.

This is an edited version of the session.

Kevin tweets: Already had Qs on age-related personal allowance. Still frozen in Apr 2013 for those aged 65 and over, as announced in Budget

Richard Blundel (@RichardKBlundel) asks: Good capital allowance boost for SMEs, but when will British Business Bank launch and what will it do?

Kevin answers: Biz Bank aims to get long-term loans to small biz. Bits start in spring 2013; fully running autumn 2014

Andrew Riley asks: Why is the ISA saving limit so much lower for Cash ISAs?

Kevin answers: Campaigners unhappy only half of £11,520 Isa allowance from April allowed in cash but that's been case since they started

Stephen Mogridge (@StephenMogridge) asks: OBR wrong on the last 2 yrs growth, what chance is there they are right in this forecast? #AskBBCPeachey

Kevin answers: OBR reviews forecasts as factors change. '10 economists in a room, 11 different opinions' - so joke goes!

Steve Thornhill asks: Can you clarify whether the deficit has actually gone down this year?

Kevin answers: Have a few months left in the financial year but the deficit is forecast to fall this year, and to continue falling

continues: Remember: Deficit is the gap between amount govt spends in a year and the amount it raises through things like tax

Felicity Hansen (@iosal) asks: State pension rises 2.5% but what about min income level for OAPs?

Kevin answers: Std min guarantee: Single £145.40 (up £2.70). Couple £222.05 (up £4.15). [This answer was given as a correction to an initial error]

continues (2/2) For full list of how benefits are expected to change in Apr 2013 - see DWP page here (in pdf) http://bit.ly/11L2YJB

Frank Lay asks: There is no mention of an increase in the State Second Pension. Is it frozen?

Kevin answers: Additional State Pension, previously known as Serps. Will rise by 2.2% in Apr 2013, in line with Sept 2012 inflation level

continues: On the subject of pensions, one of the key changes was to pension tax relief. More details here: Pensions tax relief is cut again

Dave Campbell asks: Do the tax allowances next year apply in full to part-time workers or pro-rata?

Kevin answers: Everyone gets Personal Allowance (first chunk of income that is income tax free) irrespective of hours worked

continues: Personal Allowance goes up to £9,440 in Apr 2013 - that's £1,335 higher than level since Apr 2012. More here: Q&A: How will the Autumn Statement affect you?

And finally, Robert Black (@bugleboy12) asks: Why is it the Autumn Statement when it is clearly winter?

Kevin answers: Chancellor's choice. Named Pre-Budget Report under Labour. So packed this time, it is being referred to as a mini-Budget

For more tweets from Kevin Peachey, you can follow him at @PeacheyK

Produced by Alex Murray

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