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Decoding Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement: How it will impact your Finances!

Published by UK Property Accountants,
Posted Date: November 24, 2023 , Modified Date: May 8, 2024

Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement ushers in significant changes, from a noteworthy National Insurance cut to adjustments for self-employed individuals.

However, a freeze on personal tax thresholds raises questions. The property market and savers face a mixed bag of announcements, while ambitious pension reforms aim to simplify retirement savings.

Let’s explore the intricacies of these measures and their impact on personal finance.

National Insurance Cut

The chancellor's move to cut the main rate of National Insurance Contributions (NIC) for employees from 12% to 10% starting January 6, 2024, is set to benefit 27 million workers. The Treasury estimates that an average worker earning Β£35,400 will receive a tax cut of over Β£450 in 2024-25.

For instance, a typical full-time nurse on Β£38,900 stands to gain more than Β£520 annually, and working families with two earners at the average income could see a gain of Β£900. While this provides relief, critics argue that the freeze on personal income tax thresholds until 2028 may offset these gains for many individuals.

Self-Employed Individuals

Starting April 2024, self-employed workers will see changes in their National Insurance Contributions (NICs). The chancellor announced the elimination of class 2 NICs, currently at Β£3.45 a week for self-employed individuals earning a profit of Β£12,570 or more annually.

Impact on Self-Employed Individuals

Additionally, class 4 NICs, currently at 9% for profits between Β£12,570 and Β£50,270 (and 2% above that), will be reduced to 8% in the next tax year. These adjustments are estimated to save a self-employed person with profits of Β£28,200 around Β£350 in 2024-25.

Despite the removal of class 2 NICs, self-employed workers will still qualify for benefits like the state pension. Those earning less than Β£6,725 can make voluntary contributions, while those earning between Β£6,725 and Β£12,570 will receive a credit, consistent with the current system.

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Tax Threshold Freeze

The National Insurance cut does not fully compensate for the freeze on personal tax thresholds until 2028. As income tax remains unchanged, this freeze is expected to push more low-income households into basic-rate tax and those earning near Β£50,000 into the higher 40% rate, generating substantial revenue for the Treasury.

Critics argue that this β€œFiscal Drag” amounts to a stealth tax. Despite the National Insurance cut, a worker on an average salary may only be around Β£3 a week better off next year than if tax thresholds had not been frozen.

Mixed Bag of Announcements

Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement carries implications for the property market and savers. While there are no direct tax cuts for homebuyers, explore plans to bolster housebuilding. Savers, on the other hand, witness changes to ISAs, allowing more flexibility in investments.

Experts suggest that the 2p National Insurance cut offsets only a quarter of the government's personal tax-raising measures since 2021, including frozen allowances and thresholds. In essence, the perceived tax relief may not fully counterbalance the broader impact of taxation policies on workers' income.

Pension Reforms

The chancellor has proposed a consultation on a plan to streamline British workers' pensions, aiming to consolidate multiple workplace pension pots into one lifelong account. This addresses the issue of individuals accumulating numerous pension pots across different jobs, often leading to forgetfulness or loss within the system.

Impact on Pension Reforms

The envisioned system would allow employees switching jobs to continue contributing to their existing pension scheme rather than adopting the new employer's arrangement. However, critics argue that this ambitious idea poses significant administrative challenges for employers and could take several years to implement effectively.

Conclusion

Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement introduces a myriad of changes, from National Insurance cuts to pension reforms. While some herald relief, the shadow of tax threshold freezes looms. As you navigate these financial shifts, stay informed to make strategic decisions aligned with your long-term financial goals.

These changes might imply a lot of things for you and your business or property. We’d suggest, to tackle through these changes and get the best out of it, for you or your property, contacting an expert in the field could be the best thing.

Need expert advice tackling through these changes?

Contact us today for efficient and
hassle-free assistance.

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