Autumn Statement Highlights…

Well, some good and some not so good in relation to the budget. So a quick rundown of the exciting highlights…

The minimum wage/national living wage (over 21s) – will increase to £11.44 per hour from April (currently £10.42).

For those aged 18 to 20 the increase will be to £8.60 an hour from April, (currently £7.49) and for those 16 and 17, and apprentices, the minimum pay will be £6.40 – an increase of £1.12 on last year.

Universal Credit & Benefits will increase by 6.7%, the September rate of inflation with the increase coming into effect in April 2024.

State pension is to increase by 8.5% to £221.20 a week, equates to almost £900 extra a year. 

All alcohol duty will be frozen until August. That means no increase in duty on beer, cider, wine or spirits.

People living closest to new pylons and electricity substations will receive up to £10,000 off their bills over 10 years.

A pension pot for life scheme will be rolled out – giving employees the option to nominate the fund their employer pays pension contributions into, which can follow them as they move throughout their working life.

For Employees, National Insurance will be cut by 2% – Those earning more than £12,570 a year currently pay 12% national insurance on pay up to £50,200, the new 10% rate will come into effect on the 6th January 2024.

For Self Employed, Class 4 National Insurance will be cut from 9% to 8% on earnings between £12,570 and £50,270 and Class 2 National Insurance will be abolished.

A simplified R&D scheme will combine the existing RDEC and SME schemes, which will cut the rate at which loss-making companies are taxed from 25% to 19%.

The Full Expensing scheme (Capital Allowances) due to expire in 2026, will be made permanent. This allows firms to write off the entire cost of spending on new plant and machinery and equipment, while also saving 25p from every pound spent on other types of investment.

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED): annual increase – The annual chargeable amounts for ATED will be uprated by the September CPI figure of 6.7% for the 2024-25 charging period.

Van and Car & Fuel Benefit Charges – will be maintained at the 2023-24 levels for 2024-25.

Self-Assessment tax returns – Individuals with income taxed only through PAYE will no longer be required to file a Self-Assessment return from 2024-25.

ISA’s – The government intends to permit certain fractional shares contracts as eligible ISA investments and will engage with stakeholders on implementation.

And finally…. other than tobacco increasing by 2% from 6pm, the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme is being extended – supports the availability of 95% Loan-to-Value mortgages, extended to June 2025.