The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has delivered his Autumn Statement to Parliament, with an eye on unlocking business investment, rewarding effort and work, growing our economy and backing our businesses.
Read Menzies comments below, and download our Autumn Statement report for expert insights.
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Autumn Budget 2023 Comments
UK SMEs overlooked
SMEs are arguably the engine room of the economy, and it was particularly disappointing to see them largely left out of today’s statement despite the Government’s rhetoric around supporting UK SMEs. The sole pertinent announcement for these businesses is the extension of the frozen small business rates multiplier for another year, providing relief to independent high-street businesses.
However, conversations with our SME clients have shown that the duration of this freeze is not enough to significantly improve their financial standing.
Permanent Tax Breaks
The Chancellor has made the ‘full expensing’ tax break permanent to incentivise business investment, hailing it as the ‘single most transformative move’ by the Government to drive productivity and growth. This is good news for large companies, especially in the manufacturing and construction sectors, as it provides stability for longer-term planning.
However, the scope of this only benefits companies, leaving out unincorporated businesses, smaller high street establishments, pubs, restaurants, and self-employed individuals who play a crucial role in sustaining UK’s economy. The current setup also does not create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to start their businesses.
R&D Tax Relief
The Chancellor today rolled out a new, ‘simplified’ form of the R&D tax relief, combining the existing expenditure credit and SME schemes, heralded as a measure to simplify R&D tax relief and encourage more claimants.
In reality, this was a stealthy move by the chancellor to further reduce the vital tax reliefs available to innovative SME’s.
There will still be two schemes with the new “single scheme” and an additional scheme for R&D intensive business, with many companies worse off than they would have been under the previous SME scheme. The good news is that the government has at least recognised the value of R&D intensive companies who will receive a higher R&D tax credit rate and be open to some 5,000 more SME’s with the definition of R&D intensive being reduced from 40% to 30%”
National Insurance Cuts
There has been much chatter about tax cuts in the lead up to the Autumn Statement, and today the Chancellor lowered National Insurance rates for employees and abolished Class 2 National Insurance for the self-employed. While this spells good news for employees, employer-side National Insurance contributions were not addressed – a move which would have had significant impact, especially given the increased National Living Wage which was also announced. Today’s cuts will be seen more widely as a preliminary step to a more significant reduction in the March Spring Budget as we warm up to the upcoming General Elections.
Autumn Budget 2023 Sector Comments
The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has delivered his Autumn Statement to Parliament earlier, which includes 110 measures for growth across the board. Our experts shares a summary of the main points relating to the manufacturing sector.
Hospitality & Leisure
At a time when hospitality sector business insolvencies are rising at a rate of 66% year on year, there were high expectations for today’s Autumn Statement. However, while there were some positive signs, the overall impression that was much more could have been announced to support our sector and that it failed to address some key concerns.
Property & Construction
The autumn statement has been a mixed bag for the property and construction sector. Whilst it provides good news for larger scale infrastructure projects it fails to address some of the sector’s key concerns.