Published On: 24 November 2023

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has just unveiled the Autumn Statement, and we’re here to provide you with a rapid overview of the key highlights. While a more in-depth analysis is on the horizon, let’s delve into the main headlines to keep you informed: 

Tax Revisions: 

  • Employee National Insurance set to decrease from 12% to 10% starting January 6th, 2024. 
  • Abolishment of Class 2 National Insurance charge for self-employed individuals earning over £12,570, effective April 2024. 
  • Reduction in the main rate of Class 4 self-employed National Insurance Contributions from 9% to 8% starting April 2024. 
  • No changes to Income or Inheritance Tax rates.

Pensions and Savings Insights: 

  • Government to initiate a consultation on pension pot reforms, granting savers the legal right to redirect new employer pension contributions to their existing pension. 
  • A notable 8.5% increase in the flat-rate state pension from £203.85 to £221.20 per week from April 2024. 
  • Maintenance of the pensions triple lock. 
  • ISA limits frozen, but increased flexibility in ISA rules. Stay tuned for a comprehensive breakdown. 

Living Costs and Consumer Impact: 

  • Significant electricity bill reductions, up to £10,000 over a decade, for those living closest to new energy infrastructure. 
  • 2% increase in duty rates on all tobacco products, with a 12% hike in hand-rolling tobacco duty. 
  • Freeze on alcohol duty until August 2024. 

Business Strategies and Investments: 

  • Permanency of the tax break allowing businesses to deduct the full cost of investing in machinery and equipment from their tax bill. 
  • Stricter regulations on late payments to improve prompt payments to SMEs. 
  • Extension of the 75% business rates discount for retail, hospitality, and leisure firms. 
  • Introduction of new rules to expedite major business planning applications by local authorities. 
  • A substantial £500 million investment in schemes to position the UK as an “AI powerhouse.” 
  • Reforms to R&D tax reliefs for a streamlined and improved system.

Economic Outlook and Forecasts: 

  • OBR forecasts a decline in inflation to 2.8% by the end of 2024, aligning with the Bank of England’s 2% target in 2025. 
  • Adjusted predictions for economic growth, with a forecasted 0.6% growth in 2023, up from an earlier estimate of a 0.2% contraction. 
  • Downgraded growth forecasts for the next two years, with expectations of 0.7% growth in 2024 and 1.4% growth in 2025.

If any of the above affects you and you’d like to discuss our opinion on this fund and how it may or may not continue to fit your investment goals or risk tolerance, please call us on 01420 83517 or email info@murdochasset.co.uk 

 


 Source – https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/autumn-statement-2023-speech 

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