Autumn Statement 2023 – Champion’s Reaction

Today, chancellor Jeremy Hunt outlined his Autumn Statement and key decisions affecting the nation’s finances. Despite the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) downgrading UK economic growth forecasts for 2024 (1.8% down to 0.7%) and 2025 (2.5% down to 1.4%), Mr Hunt promised that his 110 measures announced today will “help grow the British economy”, which dovetails the reduction in inflation from 11.1% to 4.6%.

With cuts to National Insurance for 27 million workers and programmes to bring tens of thousands of more people into work, Mr Hunt said: “Taken together, we will increase business investment in the UK economy by around £20 billion a year over the next decade and get Britain growing”.

Here are our key takeaways from today’s Autumn Statement:

Corporate Tax

  • Full expensing to be made permanent, meaning companies get tax relief on every £1 spent on IT equipment, plant and machinery in the year the expense is incurred.
  • From April 2024, proposed plans to merge the SME R&D scheme (for small companies) with the RDEC scheme (for large companies) are to go ahead. This will bring in a new single scheme for all R&D tax relief claimants.
  • New rules will also apply to R&D intensive SMEs from April 2024. This impacts companies with 30% of their total expenditure being qualifying R&D costs and allows them to claim an increased cash credit rate of 14.5%.
  • An increase in rates for audio-visual creative tax reliefs. Film, high-end TV and video games will be eligible for a credit of 34%, while animated film & TV and children’s TV are eligible for a credit of 39%.

Personal Tax

  • Employee’s National Insurance is to reduce by two percentage points from 12% to 10%, leading to a potential saving of £750 per year – this comes into force from January 6th, meaning employees will begin to benefit from the New Year.
  • Class 2 National Insurance for the self-employed will be abolished entirely, saving £180 per year – effective April 2024.
  • Class 4 National Insurance will reduce one percentage point from 9% to 8%, potentially saving £370 per year – effective April 2024.
  • Minimum wage to increase from £10.42 to £11.44 for those aged 21 and over.


  • State pension will increase by 8.5% to £221.20 per week
  • The Chancellor honoured the government’s commitment to the pensions triple lock.


  • A range of benefits will increase by 6.7% including Universal Credit and some disability benefits.
  • The planned introduction of 30 hours free childcare for one and two-year-olds will go ahead as planned from April 2024.
  • Alcohol Duty will be frozen until at least August 2024.
  • Duty on hand-rolling tobacco will increase by 10%.
  • A range of reforms will come into effect around planning laws, with some additional tweaks to permitted development rights.
  • £500m more funding has been allocated for innovation centres, supporting the UK’s drive to become a leader in AI and Supercomputing.

As always, should you have any questions concerning today’s Autumn Statement, do not hesitate to contact your local Champion office.

For more in-depth reading regarding the Chancellor’s announcements, download our detailed summary here.