Autumn Statement 2023: What it means for you

Autumn Statement 2023: What it means for you

The Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement on Wednesday 22 November. Below you can find our reaction, key highlights and full summary guide.

The rabbit is still in the hat for now

An Autumn Statement before an election year is usually an opportunity for a Chancellor to begin setting out his party’s stall and to deliver positive news for an electorate warming up to go to the polls.

Furthermore, with the Chancellor now finding himself with more in his coffers due to bumper tax revenues and inflation looking under control, we were primed for some good news. So, we were quite surprised to see few headline tax cuts and giveaways. Perhaps the Chancellor is saving the rabbit in his hat for the spring budget, or election manifesto.

Our take on the announcements

For workers and the self employed, the national insurance cuts will be very welcomed and will put cash straight into wallets. However, as the personal tax thresholds remain frozen at a time of high inflation, this tax boost may be countered by earnings being pushed into higher tax brackets.

For businesses, there is not too much to get excited about from these announcements. Many businesses will welcome the discounted business rates being extended for at least another year. With the National Living wage rising by more than a pound per hour, firms already feeling the pressure from increasing wage costs may be hit hard. Then there is the announcement billed as ‘the biggest business tax cut in modern British history’, the extension to full expensing. This will certainly be welcomed and useful for larger businesses investing in machinery and equipment. However, there is little real impact for SMEs, who can already get maximum tax relief for their capital expenditure via the £1m annual investment allowance.

We knew it was coming, but the merge of the SME and large company R&D tax credit schemes is a blow to small business who will see the overall benefit of claims reduce under a merged scheme. On the brighter side it does at least give us more certainty about the scheme and how it will operate moving forward, and it remains a valuable tax relief for businesses.

What might have been

In the weeks leading up to the Autumn Statement, there had been a lot of talk around inheritance tax. The Chancellor opted against tackling this contentious tax this time around. Could he be saving his plans to either reduce the rate or abolish the tax altogether for the Spring Budget or as an election manifesto? Also missing from the Autumn Statement was any further news on stamp duty land tax (SDLT). Again, the Chancellor may wait until the spring to make any bold changes on this.

We hope that you enjoy reading our highlights and summary guide, and as always, if you have any questions on how any of these measures affect you, please contact us.

See the full picture

In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced there will be 110 new growth measures.

Find out more about these in our full Autumn Statement Summary Guide here [3.5mb].

Key highlights


  • Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts the economy will grow by 0.6% this year and 0.7% next. This is slower than expected – it had been previously forecast to grow by 1.8% next year.
  • Inflation is expected to fall to 2.8% by the end of 2024.


  • Main rate of employee national insurance contributions to be cut by 2% to 10% from 6 January, saving those on the average salary £450 per year.
  • For the self-employed, Class 4 national insurance will be cut by 1% and Class 2 national insurance will be abolished saving them a combined £350 per year.
  • The National Living Wage will increase by more than a pound an hour from April to £11.44, and will be extended to 21-year-olds.
  • From April 2024 the full state pension will increase by 8.5% to £221.20 a week, worth up to £900 more a year.
  • ‘Pension pot for life’ reforms will give workers the right to nominate the pension scheme their employer pays contributions into, ending the difficulties faced by anyone who build ups multiple retirement funds as a result of moving jobs.
  • Those claiming benefits will face mandatory work experience and if they do not find a job within 18 months their benefits will be stopped.


  • The full expensing scheme – currently due to expire in 2026 – will be made permanent. This allows firms to write off the entire cost of spending on new machinery and equipment, while also saving 25p from every pound spent on other types of investment.
  • Business rates will continue to be discounted by 75% for another year.
  • A ‘new, simplified’ tax relief for research and development will combine the existing R&D Expenditure Credit and SME schemes. This will involve a reduction of the rate at which loss-making companies are taxed within the merged scheme, from 25% to 19%, and will lower the threshold for the additional support for R&D intensive loss-making SMEs, as announced in the Spring Budget, to 30%.


  • Investment zones: Financial incentives for Investment Zones and tax reliefs for Freeports increased from 5 to 10 years.
  • Hospitality, restaurants, pubs and leisure: The 75% business rates relief scheme will be extended for another year. A freeze on Alcohol duty until 1 August 2024 was announced for all beer, cider, wine or spirits.
  • Manufacturing and engineering: An additional £4.5bn of support pledged for UK manufacturing between 2025 and 2030. This includes £975m for aerospace firms, £520m for life sciences like medical research companies, and £960m for the new green industry firms. Also an investment in skills and apprenticeship schemes in engineering and key growth sectors.
  • Construction and property: New permitted development planning permission announced, where one property can be converted to two properties, without planning permission if the front of the building is maintained. Also plans announced to speed up planning applications with local authorities able to recover the full costs of major business planning applications, in return for being required to meet guaranteed faster timelines. Further £110m pledged to fund more than 40,000 new homes.

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1280 853 Rouse Partners

Oscar Wingham

Oscar heads our tax department and provides advice on tax structuring, planning and compliance services to entrepreneurs and their businesses. See more

All stories by : Oscar Wingham

This information has been produced by Rouse Partners LLP for general interest. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this information is accepted by Rouse Partners LLP. In all cases appropriate advice should be sought before making a decision.

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