Autumn Statement 2023 live: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt cuts National Insurance and announces overhaul of benefits

The Chancellor gave what is expected to be the last Autumn Statement of this parliament.

Jeremy Hunt has delivered his Autumn Statement, where he has cut tax for business, abolished national insurance for the self-employed, and reformed benefits so claimants face sanctions if they choose not to work.

The Chancellor also unveiled downgraded forecasts for growth.

Jeremy Hunt will deliver his Autumn Statement today, and does so under huge pressure from Tory MPs to announce tax cuts. The Chancellor is expected to cut National Insurance for 28 million people, as well as reform benefits so claimants face sanctions if they choose not to work.

Good morning finance fans, and a very happy Autumn Statement to you.

Today we can expect cuts to National Insurance, new sanctions on benefits, and some fun chat about fiscal discipline.

Put the kettle on, grab a pastry and make yourself comfortable, it's going to be a large one.

Who, what, where, when

The Autumn Statement will start straight after PMQs, so we can expect Jeremy Hunt to be on his feet around 12:30.

This will take place in the Commons, obviously, and we'll then get responses from Labour and the SNP which I'm going to guess won't be entirely supportive.

More as we get it.

It's business, it's business time

Jeremy Hunt is set to unveil the biggest business tax cut for 50 years.

The chancellor is expected to permanently extend “full expensing”, which means companies can claim back up to 25p for every pound invested in things like technology and infrastructure.

It costs around £10 billion a year, which given how much they are now, could buy you around six Freddos.

Tax doesn't have to be taxing

The Scottish Greens have claimed replicating tax reforms introduced in Scotland could raise £11 billion for the Treasury.

We await with anxious breathe to see if Ross Greer has the ear of the Chancellor.

Until then, here's a piece on why they think that, and what it could do.

For whom the bell polls

Polling earlier this year found just 8 per cent of voters wanted tax cuts.

Published in September, the British Social Attitudes and the NatCen Opinion Panel poll found 55 per cent wanted more spending on health, education and social benefits.

Good luck with that.

Too little, too late

Labour are criticising the Autumn Statement before it's happened, saying tax cuts will not reverse 13 years of Government failure.

Labour’s shadow chief secretary Darren Jones told GB News people are paying an extra £4000 a year in tax under the Tories, and the proposed cuts will only save families around £380.

There's going to be lots of maths today.

One part of the Autumn Statement we can expect is a change to benefits, which will see thousands with serious mobility and mental health issues told to work from home, or face a £4,680 a year reduction in their benefits.

Anti-poverty charity Z2K said: “This is simply a cut for those of us who become seriously ill or disabled in the future and need the support of social security, and risks worsening people’s health and pushing them further from work.”

As exciting as the Autumn Statement is, don't forget we have PMQs first, meaning we'll all get to hear from Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer before we get into the hardcore finances.

What a day.

If you're having growth problems I feel bad for you son, the Autumn Statement apparently has 110 growth measures in it but I can't name one.

More to follow when the Chancellor stands up.

Grim news from Grangemouth, where Scotland’s only remaining oil refinery is reportedly expected to shut from as early as spring 2025 in a decision that would likely lead to the loss of hundreds of jobs.



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