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Source: The Guardian November 2023

The Autumn Statement was announced on 22nd November 2023 by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.

Below we’ve listed the key areas of impact.


  • Forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility show the economy will grow by 0.6% this year and 0.7% next.
  • The economy is now 1.8% larger than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the official figures, he says.
  • GDP will then grow 1.4% in 2025, and 1.9% in 2026 and 2% in 2027 and 1.7% in 2028.
  • In March, the OBR had forecast the economy would shrink by 0.2% in 2023, before growing by 1.8% in 2024, 2.5 % in 2025, 2.1% in 2026 and 1.9% in 2027.
  • The wider picture of “slower growth from a higher starting point” means that compared with March, the OBR only improved its forecast for GDP growth in 2027 by 0.6%.


  • Inflation is expected to fall to 2.8% by the end of 2024 according to the spending watchdog, down from 11.1% last year when Hunt and Rishi Sunak took office.
  • The spending watchdog now expects inflation to stay “higher for longer” and that it will not drop to the Bank of England’s target of 2% until mid-2025. This is a year later than it expected in March.
  • Higher inflation will keep interest rates elevated, the OBR says. It expects the central bank’s key interest rate to stick at about 4% until 2028, rather than drop to 3%, at it predicted in the spring.

Wages and benefits

  • The biggest set of welfare reforms in a decade will be made and will get 200,000 more people into work.
  • People claiming benefits will face mandatory work experience if they do not find a job within 18 months.
  • As pre-announced, the “national living wage” will increase by more than a pound an hour from April to £11.44. It will also be extended to 21-year-olds.
  • Benefits will be increased by 6.7%, and there will be tougher requirements for those who claim them to look for work.
  • The state pension will be increased by 8.5%.
  • Local housing allowance will be increased, which has been frozen since 2020, in a measure worth £800 for some households next year.

Business tax

  • So-called “full expensing” will be made permanent. This allows businesses to offset investment in items such as new IT equipment and factory machinery against tax.
  • The chancellor adds that the total package of measures will help increase business investment by about 1% of GDP.
  • Hunt says he wants to reform taxes paid by self-employed people, and will abolish their “class 2” national insurance contributions, which count towards their state pension entitlements. This will cut taxes for 2 million people, he says. “Class 4” contributions will be cut by one percentage point. Together these will be worth £350 a year.
  • There will be a business rates discount for hospitality retail and leisure worth £4.3bn.


  • An extra £4.5bn will be invested between 2025 and 2030 in manufacturing.
  • About £1m will go to aerospace companies and businesses working on green technologies.
  • Recommendations will be accepted from a review of foreign direct investment into the UK, carried out by former business minister Lord Harrington.
  • There will be a new “investment zone” in Wrexham, Wales, in a bid to increase employment in the area. There will be three others in England: Greater Manchester, and the west and east Midlands.
  • Options will be explored for the sale of some of the government’s stake in NatWest. This will be done through a “retail share offer”.

Personal tax

  • The main 12% rate of employee national insurance contributions will be cut by two percentage points to 10%.
  • This tax cut will be brought in from 6 January 2024, the chancellor says.
  • This will affect 28 million people, saving someone on the average salary £450.

Public spending

  • Government spending on public services will take a “responsible approach” and focus on “tackling waste”.
  • The measures will result in a £19bn reduction in spending on public services, after accounting for inflation.

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Pete Sheppard