Today, The Chancellor of the Exchequer has delivered his autumn statement in the House of Commons after noting that the “plan for the British economy is working, but the work is not done”.
Jeremy Hunt, who has now been Chancellor for a little over a year, began the statement in the spirit of giving: promising 110 measures to aid private sector growth after revealing that the Office for Budget Responsibility had lowered its growth forecasts (the economy is now projected to grow only 0.6% this year and 0.7% in 2024).
It was then announced that the National Living Wage will rise to £11.44 an hour and national insurance will be cut by 2% from January. This will save those earning £35,000 more than £450 a year in N.I.
The pension Triple-Lock will remain in place and Universal Credit will be increased by 6.7% while alcohol duty will be frozen until August 2024. Additionally, businesses will now be able to permanently offset investments in a tax break that will cost £11billion per year.
But on the other side of the coin, Mr Hunt announced that there will be a crackdown on benefits for people who are unable to work for mobility or mental health reasons. This has been controversial, with James Taylor from the disability charity Scope saying “These proposals are likely to force disabled people to look for work even when they aren’t well enough”, adding “threatening disabled people with more sanctions will not lead to more disabled people staying in work.”
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