Autumn Statement 2023: What we Know so Far

Jeremy Hunt will present as upbeat an image of the UK economy as possible today, spreading just a little pre-Christmas (and pre-election) cheer to voters

Alliance News 22 November, 2023 | 10:12AM
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Jeremy Hunt

Cuts to National Insurance (NI) affecting 28 million people will reportedly be at the heart of chancellor Jeremy Hunt's autumn statement today, a move that would over-rule previous freezes to the headline rates of taxation.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott has already indicated individuals will also benefit from a giveaway in a hint that either income tax or national insurance could be reduced.

The Times has reported the government is set to reduce headline rates of NI as well as make permanent a £10 billion-a-year tax break for companies that invest in equipment and technology.

With the Bank of England forecasting a stagnant economy in 2024, the Chancellor's commons statement on Wednesday is expected to focus on backing businesses.

The government has also announced an increase in the national living wage, up from £10.42 to £11.44 from April, with the policy also extended to cover workers aged 21 and over, rather than 23 and over.

It will mean a £1,800 annual pay rise next year for a full-time worker on the living wage, while 18 to 20-year-olds will receive a £1.11 hourly rise to £8.60.

Trott has also indicated that workers could be in line for a tax cut too, telling the BBC's Today programme the government would focus on "cutting taxes for individuals".

A tighter approach to welfare is also expected with plans to get people off benefits and into jobs. Those with mental health or mobility problems could be told to search for jobs that are possible to do from home.

Free prescriptions and legal aid will be cut off for benefits claimants deemed fit to work who do not look for employment, the government announced last week.

Other things to look out for include:

  • The chancellor is under pressure to reduce the UK's tax burden, so more intricate changes to tax could be passed off as a win for savers and businesses alike;
  • We're also expecting a big change to the ISA rules in a bid to boost share ownership and promote economic growth;
  • Likewise, the auto-enrolment pension rules are set for a big change that will allow savers to select their own pension pots in a new "Pot For Life" framework;
  • As ever, there is always room for a surprise or two!


By PA Political Staff, with additional notes from Morningtar editorial staff

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