Posted on

Autumn Budget 2023, ‘rewarding effort and work’.

Jeremy Hunt has today delivered his Autumn Budget, promising that his reforms will ‘reduce debt, cut taxes and, reward effort and work’.

So, what rewards does it hold for you ? 

Well, whether you are self-employed or employed by somebody else, you may well benefit from cuts in National Insurance.

Class 2 National Insurance Contributions, the flat rate of £3.45 per week paid by the self-employed who make profits of £12,570 or more, is to be Voluntary only from April 2024.

The main rate for Class 4 National Insurance Contributions, also paid by the self-employed on profits between £12,584 – £50,284 has been reduced from 9% to 8%.

These cuts offer the self-employed savings of £192 and a up to a further £377 per year respectively.

For employees, the Chancellor will deliver a cut in the Main Rate for Class 1 National Insurance of 2%, down from 12% to 10%, on wages between £12,584 – £50,284 per year.

This reduction is to be rushed through by emergency legislation, to deliver savings from the 6th of January next year, putting up to £754 per year back into the pockets of hard-pressed workers throughout 2024.

On top of receiving these tax cuts, the lower paid may see a boost to wages with the National Living Wage (NLW) set to rise from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour. This represents an annual increase of £1,800 per year for full time workers currently on the NLW..

Cutting National Insurance and increasing the living wage specifically benefits those in employment to ‘ensure work pays’ rather than spreading the joy to pensioners and those with rental and investment income that an alternative Income Tax Rate cut would have also delivered.

But if you are a State Pensioner, at least you can breathe a sign of relief that the ‘triple lock’ remains untouched.

State Pensions are set to rise by 8.5% from April 2024, an increase of £900 per year for those who qualify for the full UK Single Tier State Pension.

Universal Credit and other state benefits are also set to rise by 6.70% in line with the September inflation figure, leaving the fears of those expecting the Chancellor to switch to the lower October inflation figures unfounded.

But what was missing ? 

There was no mention of any cuts to Inheritance Tax despite this possibility filling up newspaper column inches in recent days and weeks.

In fact, the continuation of freezes on Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Bands, Personal Allowances and Income Tax Bands maintains the current stealth taxes. Pulling more of us in to Inheritance Tax as asset prices rise and increasing the Income Tax burden as wages and pensions continue to catch up with inflation.

There are a host of changes to Business Taxes aimed at increasing business investment and generating growth.

And for those who can, but do not work, encouragement to participate in the labour market comes through reforms in the welfare sector.

And what about my favourite subject, Pensions ? 

No changes to current levels of Pension tax relief on contributions, and perennial fears about losing the 25% tax-free cash entitlement are forgotten for another 6 months.

With a continuation of the higher Annual Allowance for Pension contributions of £60,000 introduced in 2023/24, Pensions remain a great opportunity to reduce your income tax burden where you have income to spare.

Pension reforms are set to support consolidation of pension schemes to encourage investors in to larger pension schemes that can drive down costs to offer better outcomes for pensioners.

And to further consolidate and simplify the pensions landscape, the government is keen to consider a ‘lifetime provider model’ giving employees the right to have pension contributions paid into existing pensions, rather than joining a new Workplace scheme when switching employment.

This appears to be a sensible solution to avoiding individuals building up numerous ‘small pots’ over their working lives adding complexity and administration both whilst accumulating benefits and at retirement.

Rule changes are also to be made to encourage Pensions to invest into more innovative and higher rewarding investment areas, to encourage investment into Science and Technology companies and the UK’s most potentially rewarding growth businesses through Venture Capital Investment aimed specifically at Pension funds.

The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) for a start will have an ambition to invest 10% of assets in Private Equity investments.

Well-funded Defined Benefit Pension Scheme may also be encouraged to invest in assets with potentially higher returns, rewarding more adventurous investments by making it easier and cheaper to return surplus funds to the sponsoring employer and reducing the overall cost of such schemes.

Pensions will not be the only investment vehicle offered a wider range of investment opportunities.

ISAs are to be simplified and offered opportunities to invest in  Long Term Asset Funds and open-ended property funds with extended notice periods.

And finally, the Government will look to accelerate its exit as a NatWest Shareholder, including exploring options to launch a share sale to retail investors, reminiscent of the sell-offs of public ownership companies of the 80’s, so ‘if you see Sid, tell him !’.

Contact us on 0330 320 9280, email: or complete our online enquiry form to discuss how you may benefit from changes announced in the 2023 Autumn Statement .

The content of this article is for information only and does not constitute formal financial advice. This material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other forms of advice.

You should not rely on this information to make, or refrain from making any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

Craven Street Financial Planning Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Terry Burgum
Chartered Financial Planner & Senior Manager
Call Terry Email Terry See Terry's profile
London & Registered Office Address:
3 Gough Square
Canterbury & Central Postal Address:
Graylaw House
20 - 22 Watling Street
Horsham Address:
Springfield House
Springfield Road
West Sussex
RH12 2RG
Aspire – Bedford
Bedford I Lab
The Innovation Centre
Stannard Way
Priory Business Park
MK44 3RZ

Tel: +44 (0)1234 823366
Aspire - Bournemouth
19 Oxford Road
Oxford Point

Tel: +44 (0)1202 037980
Aspire - Oxford
Seacourt Tower
West Way

Tel: +44 (0)1865 295295

Contact us

Get in touch today to discover how we may be able to assist you.