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Autumn Statement 2023: Key highlights

Autumn Statement 2023: Key highlights

Tim Woodgates

Describing today’s announcements as “an Autumn Statement for growth”, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced measures to help grow the British economy, back British businesses, and support “the people who kept our country running during the pandemic.”

Key highlights included:

Measures for workers
  • The main rate of Employee National Insurance will be cut from 12% to 10% from 6 January 2024 – affecting 27 million people.  The Chancellor says this will save the average worker earning £35,000 a year around £450 annually.
  • National Living Wage to rise by 9.8% to £11.44 an hour from April 24 for eligible workers.
  • 21- and 22-year-olds will be eligible for the National Living Wage for the first time, rather than just those 23 and over.
  • National Minimum Wage rates will increase to £8.60 per hour for people aged 18-20 and to £6.40 per hour for 16–17-year-olds and apprentices.
Measures for the self-employed
  • The rate of Class 4 NICs on earnings between £12,570 and £50,270 will be cut from 9% to 8% from April 2024.
  • Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) abolished – paid by self-employed people earning more than £12,570 will be abolished from April 2024,  saving the self-employed £3.45 per week.
Measures for business
  • Full Expensing made permanent, allowing companies to permanently claim 100% capital allowances on qualifying main rate plant and machinery investments
  • The 75% Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief on business rates extended for another year
  • The existing R&D Expenditure Credit and Small and Medium Enterprise schemes will be merged from April 2024 to simplify the R&D credits system, and the rate at which loss-making companies are taxed within the new, merged scheme will be reduced from 25% to 19%, and the threshold for additional support for R&D intensive loss-making SMEs will be lowered to 30%
  • The Climate Change Agreement Scheme is to be extended to 2033 to provide additional tax relief to energy intensive businesses and encourage investment in energy efficiency.
Other measures
  • Alcohol duty to be frozen until 1 August 2024.
  • Consultation announced on a law allowing any house to be converted into two flats as long as the exterior remains unaffected.
  • Full State pension to increase to 8.5% from April 2024 – worth £900 per year.
  • Households living close to new pylons and transmission infrastructure to get up to £1,000 a year off their energy bills – for 10 years.
  • Universal Credit and other benefits will increase by 6.7% in April in line with September’s inflation figure.
  • The Local Housing Allowance will be increased.
  • Job seekers who don’t find work after 18 months will be given mandatory work placements. Those who don’t engage will lose their benefits altogether.
If you'd like further information about how these measures will affect you or your business, please contact your usual Moore advisor