Jeremy Hunt delivers his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday, 22 November 2023. The Autumn Statement is one of the most important events in the political calendar, as it sets out the government’s plans for the next year and beyond.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has started his Autumn Statement.
“Our plan for the British economy is working. But the work is not done,”
From April 2024 the government will increase the full new state pension by 8.5% to £221.20 a week, worth up to £900 more a year
“That is one of the largest ever cash increases to the state pension – showing a Conservative government will always back our pensioners,” he says.
Jeremy Hunt has announced that the UK economy is set to grow by 0.6% in the current year, according to forecasts from the OBR.
It then expects the economy to grow by 0.7% next year.
For 2025, GDP is forecast to rise by 1.4%, then 1.9% in 2026, and 2.0% in 2027.
Class 2 National Insurance to be abolished
“We are abolishing Class 2 National Insurance altogether, saving the average self-employed person £192 a year,” Hunt says.
The chancellor announces a freeze in the way business rates are calculated for an extra year and maintains a 75% discount on rates for hospitality for another year too.
Business rate relief extended
The chancellor has also spoken about business rates, noting the government has already taken a third of properties through small business rate relief.
Hunt says the government will freeze the small business multiplier for a further year.
He adds he will extend the 75% discount on business rates up to £110,000 discount for retail hospitality and leisure businesses for another year as well.
Hunt says these measures will save the average independent shop over £20,000 and the average independent pub over £12,800 next year.
National Insurance rate cut from 12% to 10%
Hunt says the main employee National Insurance rate will be cut by 2 percentage points from 12% to 10%. from 6 January.
He says the change will help 27 million people and means someone on the average salary of £35,000 will save over £450 a year.
Hunt says: “I would normally bring in a measure like this for the start of the new tax year in April, but instead tomorrow I’m introducing urgent legislation to bring it in from 6 January, so that people can see the benefit in their payslips at the start of the new year.”