Last week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed his Autumn Budget, setting out the Government’s tax and spending plans for the year ahead. Key measures included changes to taxes and spending on innovation, skills and welfare.
Plans to consult on pension fund charges change
The Government revealed their plans to consult on possible changes to the 0.75% cap on pension fund charges. The potential raise would see funds be used to invest in more expensive projects, such as renewable energy.
National minimum wage
Plans to raise the national minimum wage to £9.50/hour from £8.91 for those aged 23 and over from 1st April 2022 were confirmed. The national minimum wage will also increase for those aged 23 and under and apprentices.
The chancellor has announced an additional £5.9 billion in funding for the NHS to help tackle the backlog of patient appointments.
Business rates cut by £7 billion
The chancellor announced £7 billion in business rates reliefs focused on the struggling retail sector. There will be a 50% business rates discount for the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors in England in 2022-23, up to a maximum of £110,000.
The Government has committed to supporting working families by reducing the taper tax rate, the amount Universal Credit payments are reduced by when you’re in work, from 63% to 55%. As a result, millions of workers on Universal Credit will get a cash boost by 1st December 2021. For example, a single mother of two will be better off by £1,200 a year.
Sunak confirmed £3 billion would be injected to help young people throughout the UK. The plans include funding additional classroom hours for 100,000 16 to 19-year-olds taking the new vocational T levels and funding 24,000 new apprenticeships.
New plans will see up to 500,000 people across the UK benefit from a new £560 million scheme called ‘Multiply’. The new scheme is designed to help improve basic numeracy skills through free personal tutoring, digital training, and flexible courses.
£1.8 billion will be injected into transforming brownfield land equivalent to 2,000 football pitches in towns and cities across England and will see 160,000 new homes be created on these sites. An additional £9 million has also been allocated to create more than 100 new urban ‘pocket parks’ throughout the UK. This funding will enable local authorities to transform over 100 neglected small-scale spaces into green sanctuaries to help improve physical and mental health within communities.