2023 Autumn Statement - what to expect

22 Nov 2023

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will present the 2023 Autumn Statement today. We will keep you up to date on the key Autumn Statement announcements and supply a summary, which will appear on our website.

The Autumn Statement comes on the back of the recent publication of official figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which showed that inflation fell to a two-year low of 4.6% in September. This rate is the lowest since November 2021. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed the news, but reiterated the government's target to reduce inflation to 2%.

Speculation has been rife that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is poised to cut inheritance tax (IHT) and Stamp Duty. Experts have stated that lowering the 40% IHT rate 'would go some way to helping individuals cut their bills'.

Reports also suggest that Mr Hunt will announce a cut to national insurance (NI) for millions of UK workers.

The Chancellor looks set to announce a major overhaul of individual savings accounts (ISAs) as he seeks to boost use of the tax-free savings vehicles to provide capital for UK firms.

Meanwhile, business groups have outlined their top priorities for the Autumn Statement, including making full expensing, which allows companies to deduct the costs of qualifying plant and machinery from their profits straight away with no expenditure limit, permanent. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called for the change in order to help 'unlock business investment across the country'.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged Mr Hunt to extend the 75% business rates relief discount for retail, hospitality and leisure firms beyond the April 2024 cut off date in England. It said that doing so would 'give thousands of small firms a lifeline while they handle rising costs'.

Additionally, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has urged the Chancellor to introduce stronger incentives for SME net zero transition, such as a differential corporation tax rate. The IoD previously published data which showed that less than three in ten SMEs currently have a plan in place to achieve net zero. Two thirds of small firms polled stated financial support or government incentives would be 'most helpful' in helping them to address climate change.

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