The Autumn Statement – how did you find it?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, delivered his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons yesterday. The Chancellor’s tone and messaging were clearly in anticipation of an election battle in the coming months, with shout-outs in the hope for votes for several constituencies, and insults being traded across the Chamber at the Leader of the Opposition and his shadow Chancellor on the Labour green benches.

There has been mixed reaction to the Statement. 

Yes, pensioners welcome the increase in the state pension, and employees will be pleased to take home a small sum more each week from 6th January as NICs are reduced. 

For the self-employed, the abolition of Class 2 NICs and the drop in the Class 4 rate will mean small savings… but nothing earthshattering in our view.

The rise in the National Living Wage is welcome news for low earners, but for business owners in retail, hospitality and many other sectors who are already battling the impacts of recent rises in the NLW, the news of another increase means more financial pressure, as the ability for these businesses to pass the rise on to customers is simply not there.

No mention of changes in corporation taxes, and dividend allowances and dividend tax rates remain unchanged, plus the lunacy that is the high-earner child benefit charge didn’t get a mention either.  Despite the speculation over the past 7 days, inheritance tax changes are not on the horizon – for now anyway.

Like lots of these Statements which have gone before, the much-hailed tax cuts and budget giveaways will not be seismic. 

We attach our commentary for perusal in your own time…. If there is any aspect of the announcements that you would like more information on, do get in touch.

Posted on November 23, 2023