What is the Autumn Statement?
The Autumn Statement is a chance for the UK Government to update parliament and the public on its economic plans.
The plans are based on economic forecasts made by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). The forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) are made twice yearly and tell the UK Government whether it’s going to meet its own financial targets. Based on the findings, the UK Government will know what it can spend money on, and whether it needs to adjust taxes or borrowing to pay for it.
The Autumn Statement 2023
The Autumn Statement was delivered by the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday 22nd November 2023 at 12.30pm.
What does the Autumn Statement mean for me?
Social security: Autumn Statement 2023
If you receive benefits such as Universal Credit, the amount you receive will increase by 6.7%. This percentage is the inflation rate for September. This includes working-age benefits which means Universal Credit and disability benefits will increase by this amount.
Employment and wages: Autumn Statement 2023
The National Living Wage will increase from April 2024. This means if you receive the minimum wage, officially known as the National Living Wage, and you’re over 21 years old, your hourly wage will increase from £10.42 to £11.44. The rate will apply to 21 and 22 year olds too, where previously it only applied to 23 year olds and above. This works out as a 9.8% increase for over-23s and a 12.4% increase for 22 and 21 year olds.
National Insurance will be cut from 12% to 10% from January 2024. This means if you’re employed, you’ll see less National Insurance taken out of your payslip and you’ll have more money in your take-home pay. As a result, someone on the average salary could be better off by £450 a year.
Housing: Autumn Statement 2023
Local Housing Allowance is going to increase. This means if you claim benefits and you get financial help from the Government when renting from a private landlord, you should be able to access more support to pay your rent. The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt said this will give 1.6 million households an average of £800 of support next year. Local Housing Allowance has been frozen since 2020 and this freeze has now been lifted.
One of the elements that some will have wanted to hear is support for high mortgage rates. However, there wasn’t much mention of mortgages in the Autumn Statement. Interest rates are predicted to remain high. This means if you’re due to remortgage soon you’re likely to be paying more per month than you are at the minute.
Pensions: Autumn Statement 2023
The state pension will increase by 8.5% next year, which is in line with the increase in average earnings. This means from April 2024, the state pension will be £221 a week.
The Chancellor has said he will consult on giving people one pension pot for life. If this happens, this will mean you could ask your new employer to pay pension contributions into a pension you already have, which may make it simpler to keep on top of planning for the future.
Autumn Statement 2023 summary
Although we saw some positive commitments to support for low-income households from the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt in the Autumn Statement 2023, it wasn’t enough.
Households across the UK are struggling to make ends meet and need extra support now. 28% of UK adults are skipping meals because of costs and 1 in 10 are going without electricity or gas at least monthly. It’s not okay that low-income households are struggling to afford the basic essentials to live, like food or heating.
No one should be going hungry, cold or without a bed. We want to do something about it.