Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement key points: National Insurance slashed and living wage rises in boost for squeezed Brits

22 November 2023, 14:06 | Updated: 22 November 2023, 15:12

Hunt has announced a raft of changes that will boost Brits' wallets
Hunt has announced a raft of changes that will boost Brits' wallets. Picture: Alamy

By Fraser Knight

Jeremy Hunt has unveiled a package of new measures he said shows Britain has turned a corner in the Autumn Statement - as he shredded National Insurance and announced new help for business.

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Here are his key pledges at a glance.

NATIONAL INSURANCE: Main 12% rate of NI cut by two percentage points - help 27m people, a saving of over 450 pounds a year from January 6th for the average salary

LIVING WAGE - 9.8% increase to £11.44 an hour from April. Eliminate low pay all together

PENSIONS - £924 extra a year, up 8.5%

BENEFITS - Benefits will rise by 6.7% - an average increase of £470 for 5.5million households next year

RENT - Housing benefits unfrozen, 1.6m households will get an average of £800m of support next year. Increase allowance to the 30th percentile of local market rents

Read more: Jeremy Hunt’s £450 Christmas boost for millions: Chancellor’s tax giveaway to ‘grow Britain’

SELF EMPLOYED - Major reform of Class 2 National Insurance - flat rate compulsory charge 3.45% a week, paid by self-employed, abolished.

Reforms will save around 2m self employed an average of £350-a-year from April

SMALL BUSINESS - From April 2024, any company bidding for large government contracts must show they pay their invoices within 55 days, reduced to 30 days, to help small businesses.

Freeze small business rates for a further year and extend 75% business rate discount for hospitality, leisure and retail for another year - £4.3bn, a large tax cut that recognises roles of pubs and shops on our high street.

Average of £12,800 saved next year by an independent pub

BUSINESS EXPENSING - Full expensing permanent, largest business tax cut in modern British history, Hunt claims

Read more: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt promises to ‘get Britain growing’ with tax cuts for 28m people in Autumn Statement

ANTISEMITISM - Up to £7m to tackle antisemitism in our communities

TOBACCO - Hand-rolling tobacco will go up 10%

ALCOHOL - Freeze all alcohol duty until August 1 next year. No increase on beer, cider, wine and spirits until 1 August next year.

PUBLIC SPENDING - Will be lower than economic growth

DEFENCE - Nato commitment to continue spending 2% of GDP on defence

SKILLS - £50m over next two years to increase apprentices in engineering and other key growth sectors where there are shortages

COUNCILS - Able to charge higher fees to fast-track planning applications.

HOUSING - £110m this year and next to deliver high quality nutrient mitigation schemes, unlocking 40,000 homes.

A total of 32m to bust planning backlog and deliver thousands homes in Cambridge, London and Leeds.

£450m to local authority housing fund and consult on new development rules to allow any house to be split into two flats without affecting outer walls.

PENSION POTS - Legal right to have one pension pot for life instead of having one opened every time you start a new job.

BILLS - Up to £1,000 a year off energy bills for a decade if living close to new pylons or substations.

TECH - £4.5bn support to attract investment in green tech for car industry and aerospace.

LEVELLING UP - Twelve mini Canary Wharfs, as announced in Spring. Extending financial incentives for free ports and investment zones from 5 years to 10.

JOBSEEKERS - Every year we sign off over 100,000 people on to benefits with no requirement to look for work because of sickness and benefits, Hunt says - treatment rather than time off to be made normal with reform to the fit note process.

If refuse to work, for six months, benefits will be stopped.

Compulsory work placement for those unemployed for 18 months