Boosting the Economy: Chancellor's Key Tax and Spending Measures
In the Autumn Statement, Chancellor Hunt outlined significant tax and spending policies aimed at stimulating economic growth.
National Insurance Adjustments
Class 1 NICs: Reduced from 12% to 10% for employees, effective January 6, 2024.
Class 4 NICs: Lowered from 9% to 8% for self-employed individuals, starting April 6, 2024.
Full Expensing: The "full expensing" capital allowance, facilitating the permanent deduction of spending on new machinery and equipment from profits.
Business and Property
Business Rates: Extension of 75% relief for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure properties in 2024/25.
Small Business Rates Multiplier: Frozen for the fiscal year 2024/25.
Economic Zones and Trade
Freeports: Extension of tax reliefs for Freeports from five to ten years.
Investment Zones: Prolongation of the Investment Zones program from five to ten years.
Duties and Welfare Reforms
Alcohol Duties: Freeze until August 1, 2024, with the annual uprating decision deferred to the 2024 Spring Budget.
Welfare Reforms: Implementation of a comprehensive package, enhancing work search requirements to boost employment.
Housing and Planning
Local Housing Allowance: Rate increase to match the 30th percentile of area market rents in 2024/25, with subsequent maintenance in cash terms.
Planning: Introduction of accelerated planning decision dates for major developments in England, guaranteed in exchange for a fee.
National Living Wage: Raised from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour from April 2024, applying to individuals aged 21 and over, including an extension to 21 and 22-year-olds.
These measures reflect the government's commitment to fostering economic recovery and addressing key societal needs.gov.uk - Overview of tax legislation and rates
Pensions, and Benefits
The Chancellor's recent Autumn Statement outlined significant measures aimed at fostering economic growth. The key highlights include:
Alcohol Duty Freeze: The Chancellor confirmed a freeze on alcohol duty until August next year, providing a temporary reprieve for consumers and businesses in the alcohol industry.
Benefits and Pensions: Working-age benefits, including Universal Credit, will see a 6.7% increase, while pensions will experience an 8.5% rise. These adjustments exceed previous expectations, indicating a more generous approach to welfare support. to learn more about please Click
Benefit System Changes: The statement also introduced changes to the benefits system, including stricter sanctions for claimants deemed not actively seeking employment.
Gloomy Economic Forecasts and Mixed Reactions to Chancellor's Autumn Statement
Alongside Chancellor Hunt's announcement, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) delivered a stark assessment. Predictions indicate that tax levels will soar to a 70-year high by 2028, and economic growth, coupled with a decline in inflation, will be slower than previously expected.
Responses to the Autumn Statement:
Chancellor's Acknowledgment: In an interview with the BBC, Hunt empathized with the public's financial struggles, pledging the government's commitment to alleviating the tax burden on families whenever possible.
Labor's Critique: Labour criticized the plans, asserting that a 2% national insurance cut falls short of compensating for existing tax hikes. They argued that economic growth has stagnated, leaving working people in a worse-off state.
Lib Dems' Assertion: The Liberal Democrats contended that the UK is experiencing the most significant reduction in living standards since the 1950s and labeled the Autumn Statement as a substantial deception.
Charities' Concerns: While charities welcomed the benefit increases, they expressed apprehensions about the potential adverse effects of sanctions on the sick and disabled.
These reactions underscore the divisive nature of the Autumn Statement, with varying opinions on its efficacy and impact.