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Autumn Statement 2023: Tax cuts, triple lock, tougher sanctions and 10 more key takeaways

Autumn Statement 2023: Tax cuts, triple lock, tougher sanctions and 10 more key takeaways
Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

The key thirteen announcements from yesterday's Autumn Statement were certainly unlucky for some, although pensioners, higher earners and 'defenders of the great British pint' could take some comfort. Here are the main points in brief.

The Chancellor announced a slew of cuts, sanctions and freezes in his Autumn Statement. Here are the thirteen key policy moves – some were pretty well-publicised but there are several you may have missed:


Alcohol Duty freeze: The Chancellor announced ‘he had listened to defenders of the great British pint’ and will freeze alcohol duty until 1 August 2024.

Benefits rise but sanctions get tougher: The government confirmed working age benefits will be uprated by 6.7% next April, but it has placed greater emphasis on getting people back to work, with tougher sanctions for disengaged claimants.

Homes for Ukraine and homelessness prevention: The government will extend ‘thank you’ payments into a third year for Homes for Ukraine sponsors across the UK. They will remain at £500 per month and reflect the ongoing generosity of hosts in supporting those who have fled the war.

The government is also providing £120m funding for the devolved administrations and local authorities in England to invest in homelessness prevention, including to support Ukrainian households who can no longer remain in sponsorship.

Housing and planning reform: The government plans to invest an additional £32m across housing and planning to “unlock thousands of homes across the country”. Hunt added that the government would “further support low-income households with increasing rent costs” by raising the Local Housing Allowance Rate.

Inflation falling: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has indicated that  inflation will fall gradually to below the 2% target by 2025.

ISA reforms: Changes to the ISA regime were omitted from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement speech, but included in the accompanying policy documents.

Limited housing news: There were a dearth of policies directed towards homebuyers and weary mortgage borrowers (no news on stamp duty, no Help to Buy revival and no help for first-time buyers) but it has been speculated that the Chancellor may use future opportunities to announce further support. However, Hunt did announce the extension of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme (see below).

Living Wage rises: The government announced the biggest ever increase to the National Living Wage, equivalent to a pay rise of more than £1,800 a year for a full-time worker.

Mortgage Guarantee Scheme extended: The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme will be extended to the end of June 2025 to “continue helping prospective borrowers with a smaller deposit buy a home”.

The scheme was due to expire on 31 December 2023 having been extended for one year at the tail-end of last year.

Pounds for pylons: Some households could get up to £10,000 off their energy bills in a scheme confirmed by Hunt in yesterday’s Statement.

Pension pots for life: Hunt announced plans to offer employees a choice on their workplace pension provider. The new pot for life concept will give employees the ability to select their own pension provider and force their employer, as well as any future employers to contribute into this chosen pot.

Tax cuts: Nearly 30 million income earners – both employed and self-employed – will pay less in National Insurance Contributions (NICs) next year, but the gain in take-home pay is dampened by silent and stealthy ‘fiscal drag’.

Triple lock honoured: Confirmation the ‘triple lock’ will be honoured follows rumours the Treasury was considering using a lower measure of average earnings that excludes bonuses to save cash. Retirees will receive an inflation-busting 8.5% state pension boost from April next year, chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced.