October 27, 2021

Article

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered his Autumn Statement today with energy and a degree of humor but not everyone will be pleased. The Autumn Statement is primarily a spending review and much of the speech was focused on how the government is spending our taxes. Investing in infrastructure, housing, education, and skill, with a focus on ‘levelling up’ people’s prosperity across the country. Increases in funding for innovation and improvements in research and development to drive the country towards a technology fuelled future.

Contrary to speculation there was no mention of increases in capital taxes with the few increases in tax aimed at property developers to fund the removal of cladding and the banking sector.

Headlines for businesses include

  • the extension of the £1 million annual investment allowances for capital allowances,
  • freezing increases in business rates in 2022/23
  • 50% business rates relief for the retail and hospitality sector
  • business rate exemptions to support investment in buildings
  • alcohol duties are set for extensive simplification
  • removing the surcharge on sparkling wines
  • lower duties on draught drinks to help the pub trade
  • duty reliefs small producers.

For those in employment, the national living wage will increase to £9.50 per hour and the universal credit taper is being cut from 63% to 55% to ease the transition from benefits into work, although these are tempered somewhat by the 1.25% rise in national insurance previously announced.

The climate change lobby will be encouraged by the support for green energy and transport including a new business rate reliefs for onsite renewable energy generation but not by the freezing of road fuel duty and cuts to air passenger duty for domestic flights.

The Chancellor emphasised his increased flexibility now that the UK is out of the EU improving R&D reliefs and taxes on shipping, but this also allowed him to abolish cross-boarder loss relief for international groups of companies, which wasn’t possible whilst in the EU.

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