Autumn Budget 2021: Key Points you Need to Know

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled the contents of his Budget in the House of Commons.

He is setting out the government’s tax and spending plans for the year ahead, we will be updating this blog as more information is revealed.

Here is a summary of the main points you need to know:

Housing

  • £24bn earmarked for housing: £11.5bn for up to 180,000 affordable homes, with brownfield sites targeted for development.
  • 4% levy will be placed on property developers with profits over £25m rate to help create a £5bn fund to remove unsafe cladding.
  • £640m a year to address rough sleeping and homelessness.

State of the economy and public finances

  • Inflation in September was 3.1% and is likely to rise to an average of 4% over the next year.
  • UK economy forecast to return to pre-Covid levels by 2022.
  • Annual growth set to rebound by 6.5% this year, followed by 6% in 2022.
  • Unemployment expected to peak at 5.2% next year, lower than 11.9% previously predicted.
  • Wages have grown in real terms by 3.4% since February 2020 and the national living wage will rise to £9.50 from £8.91 in April 2022.
  • Borrowing as a percentage of GDP is forecast to fall from 7.9% this year to 3.3% next year.
  • Borrowing as a percentage of GDP will then fall in the following four years to 1.5%.
  • Foreign aid spending projected to return to 0.7% of GDP by 2024-25.

Taxation and wages

  • Universal Credit taper rate will be cut by 8% no later than 1 December, bringing it down from 63% to 55% – allowing claimants to keep more of the payment.
  • Confirmation business rates to be retained and reformed.
  • A 50% business rates discount for the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors in England in 2022-23, up to a maximum of £110,000.
  • Planned rise in fuel duty to be cancelled amid the highest pump prices in eight years.
  • Consultation on an online sales tax.
  • National Living Wage to increase next year by 6.6%, to £9.50 an hour.

Government spending

  • Levelling Up Fund will mean £1.7bn invested in local areas across the UK.
  • Government backing projects in Aberdeen, Bury, Burnley, Lewes, Clwyd South, Stoke-on-Trent, Ashton under Lyne, Doncaster, South Leicester, Sunderland and West Leeds.
  • Extra £2.2bn for courts, prisons and probation services.
  • Tax relief for museums and galleries will be extended for two years, to March 2024.
  • Core science funding to rise to £5.9bn a year by 2024-25.
  • £6bn of funding to help tackle NHS backlogs.
  • £7bn for transport projects in areas including Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Children and education

  • Schools to get an extra £4.7bn by 2024-25.
  • There will be nearly £2bn of new funding to help schools and colleges to recover from the pandemic.
  • Schools funding to return to 2010 levels in real terms – an equivalent per pupil cash increase of more than £1,500.
  • £300m will be spent on a “Start for Life” parenting programmes, with an additional £170m by 2024-25 promised for childcare.
  • A UK-wide numeracy programme will be set-up to help improve basic maths skills among adults.

Air travel

  • Flights between airports in the UK nations will be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty from April 2023.
  • Financial support for English airports to be extended for a further six months.
  • From April 2023, new ultra long haul band in Air Passenger Duty for flights of over 5,500 miles introduced.

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