Autumn Statement Predictions

In advance of George Osborne’s autumn statement, here are what the papers are predicting.

The government is expected to unlock child trust funds (CTFs), allowing them to be transferred into junior ISAs, according to The Sunday Times. The government launched a consultation into the move in this year’s Budget. Around £4.9 billion of funds are locked in CTFs.

Campaigners have been calling for a change in the rules after the coalition scrapped the £250 payment to newborns in the funds, and replaced CTFs with Junior ISAs, which do not attract a state contribution. That has left providers with little incentive to provide the best returns on the obsolete accounts, and in some cases they have raised charges.

According to the paper, Chancellor George Osborne could also use the Autumn Statement to announce a change to the rules around ISA allowances, allowing all of it to be invested in cash.

But a £100,000 cap on the total amount that can be placed in an ISA over an investor’s lifetime could also be introduced.

The Sunday Telegraph has meanwhile predicted the Chancellor could tweak the tax incentives applied to enterprise investment schemes (EISs).

It said Osborne may allow investors to receive income tax relief immediately rather than waiting until the EIS has made all of its investments, as under current rules.

It said the proposed change was understood to have arisen from a panel of leading venture capitalists appointed to advise Prime Minister David Cameron.