Today the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt announced his Autumn Statement, which he said would ‘help to grow the British economy.’
Announcements of most relevance to our clients include:
- Full expensing business tax cut made permanent.
- Changes worth £280 million a year to be made to simplify and improve R&D tax reliefs, helping to drive innovation in the UK.
- £960 million is being made available for green industries to support strong clean energy manufacturing capacity across the UK and seize opportunities from the global net zero transition.
- Small business multiplier remains the same for a fourth consecutive year, and the 75% discount on business rates for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses is extended for 2024 – 2025.
- £50m provided over five years to grow the number of engineering apprentices.
- £4.5bn offered over five years to attract investment into strategic manufacturing sectors – auto, aerospace, life sciences and clean energy.
- More than £500m investment over two years in AI development.
- Employee National Insurance rate cut from 12% to 10% – to be introduced from 6 January 2024.
- National Living Wage increased to £11.44 per hour.
Self – employed
- Class Two National Insurance contributions for self-employed removed, saving a self-employed person at least £192 per year.
- Invest an additional £32 million across housing and planning to unlock thousands of homes across the country. This includes additional funding to tackle planning backlogs in Local Planning Authorities (LPA).
Property partner, Martina Razaq commented, “The Autumn statement’s focus on mechanisms to reduce inflation has meant that unfortunately no changes were made to the stamp duty regime, which was hoped by many including first-time buyers or young families looking to move into larger homes as well as overseas buyers. There may be further announcements on stamp duty in the Spring Budget, but this is unlikely given we are less than a year from a General Election. Either way, any change in stamp duty needs to be substantive, as further adjustments to the bandings are unlikely to make any real long-term difference to buyers, other than create another cliff edge situation, like we saw with the Stamp Duty Land Tax “holiday” in 2021.”