A list of announcements made today by the chancellor in his ‘budget for growth’
Jeremy Hunt today announced a package of measures in the autumn statement which he said would increase business investment by £20bn a year over the next decade.
The chancellor announced 110 measures, including large tax cuts, changes to benefits, measures to boost housing supply and policies aimed at improving skills and research and development.
Hunt described his announcements as an “autumn statement for growth”.
He said he wanted to close the “productivity” gap between the UK and countries such as the US, Germany and France, which invest more.
He said: “The 110 measures I take today help close that gap by boosting business investment by £20bn a year. They do not involve borrowing more and ramping up debt as some advocate. Instead they unlock investment with supply-side reforms.
Autumn Statement 2023
However, the Office for Budget Reponsbility revised down its estimate of the medium-term potential growth rate of the economy from 1.8% to 1.6% as a result.
It said this was due to a weaker forecast for average hours per worker due to demographic shifts along with a weaker short-term outlook for productivity growth.
The key measures are summarised below:
Key autumn statement measures
- £110m to deliver high-quality nutrient mitigation schemes to unlock 40,000 new homes.
- Pledge to ensure over time that “growth in public spending is lower than the growth in the economy”.
- £50m over two years to pilot ways to increase the number of apprentices in “engineering and other key growth sectors”.
- Allow local authorities to recover the full cost of major business planning applications in return for being required to meet “faster timleines”.
- £32m new homes to “bust the planning backlog”
- Funding to develop “housing quarters” in Cambridge, London and Leeds.
- £450m to the local authority housing fund to deliver 2,400 new homes.
- A new permitted development right to allow any house to be converted into two flats.
- Increase universal credit and other benefits from next April by 6.7% in line with September’s inflation rate.
- Increase Local Housing Allowance rate to the 30% percentile of local market rents, helping 1.6m households average £800 from next year.
- Measures to cut grid access delays by 90% and offer up to £10,000 off electricity bills over 10 years for those living closest to transmission infrastructure.
- £500m over the next two years to fund innovation centres to make the UK an “AI powerhouse”.
- Creating a new, simplified research and development tax relief, as well as lowering the threshold for R&D relief for SMEs.
- £520m for life sciences.
- £960m for clean energy through the green industries growth accelerator, focused on offshore wind, electricity networks, nuclear and hybrid.
- Financial incentives for investment zones and tax relief for freeports from five years to 10 years.
- Three further investment zones focused on advanced manufacturing in the West Midlands, East Midlands and Greater Manchester and a second investment zone in Wrexham and Flintshire in Wales.
- Publish devolution deals in four areas, including Hull and East Yorkshire.
- £50m for “high quality regeneration projects”. From April 2024, any company bidding for large government contracts should demonstrate they pay their invoices within an average of 55 days to be reduced to 30 days.
- Reform taxes for the self-employed including scrapping class 2 national insurance.
- £11bn a year to make “full expensing” permanent – the “largest business tax cut in modern British history”.
- Mandatory work programme for jobseekers who have not found a job after 18 months. If people choose not to engage, they will lose benefits after six months.
- Increase in the living wage by 9.8% to £11.44.
- Cut main rate of national insurance by two percentage points to 10% from 6 January.