Brian King’s Reflections on the Autumn Statement 2023

Prior to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 22 November 2023, I made some predictions (Link to predictions blog). I look back and see how accurate my predictions were. 

Prediction – With a general election only a year away, any tax changes are likely to be more politically motivated as opposed to being based on economic realty.  

I believe the commentaries following the Chancellor’s announcements support my prediction that the Autumn Statement had the forthcoming Election in mind. 

Prediction – It is very unlikely that the Autumn Statement will announce any reduction in the rates of income tax, increase in personal allowances or the threshold at which the higher rate of income tax applies.

No such announcements were made on any of these, so I can claim this as a correct prediction. 

The Chancellor announced a 2% cut to employee’s national insurance, effective from 6th January 2024. Whilst this is welcome it will not benefit wealthy pensioners who do not pay national insurance on pensions or investment income nor company owners who take dividends rather than salary. 

Prediction – The Chancellor, either in the Autumn Statement or next year’s Budget, will announce the Government’s intention to either scrap IHT, increase the nil rate band and/or reduce the rate at which IHT is charged. 

The Chancellor made no mention of IHT in his Autumn Statement. This leaves me to wait until March 2024 to see if this prediction comes true. 

Overall result – Taking the title of a song by Meal Loaf to rate my predictions: “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.”