UK government unveils 'autumn statement for growth'

22nd November 2023


Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled the “biggest permanent tax cut in modern British history” in his autumn statement today, as well as significant investment for the net-zero transition.

He said that the UK will have both the lowest headline corporation tax rate in the G7 and the most generous capital allowances in the OECD after announcing “permanent full expensing” for firms that invest in IT equipment, plant, and machinery.

The Climate Change Agreement Scheme will also be extended, giving carbon-intensive businesses around £300m of tax relief every year until 2033 to encourage investment in energy efficiency and support the net zero-transition.

Manufacturers in the “high-growth industries of the future” will receive £4.5bn, including £960m for the Green Industries Growth Accelerator to support clean energy.

Furthermore, a business rates support package worth £4.3bn will be implemented over the next five years, with the policy measures announced today expected to unlock £20bn of extra annual business investment over the next decade.

Hunt said: “I have today delivered the biggest business tax cut in modern British history with the most competitive investment allowances of any large economy.”

The government has also published its full response to the Winser review and Connections Action Plan, which it says will cut grid access times for larger projects by half, halve the time to build major grid upgrades, and offer up to £10,000 off electricity bills over 10 years.

And following the announcement of its plans to relax laws on nutrient pollution to boost house building, Hunt pledged £110m of nutrient mitigation funding, and unveiled plans to allow local authorities to recover the full costs of major planning applications.

The chancellor also announced a further £50m of funding for skills and training over next two years to increase apprenticeships in sectors like engineering.

On work and welfare, he said that the national living wage will increase by 9.8% to £11.44 an hour for eligible workers, including 21 and 22-year-olds for the first time, and there will be a national insurance (NI) tax cut from 12% to 10% for 27 million working people from January.

Despite these measures, the GMB Union said that they would go "nowhere near fixing the damage" done to people’s finances over recent years.

General secretary, Gary Smith, said: “The cut to NI will mean just over £150 a year to the lowest paid; a drop in the ocean when mortgages have doubled and energy bills are crippling household finances.”

Meanwhile, others were left disappointed by what they felt was a lack of leadership from the chancellor on climate change.

Christian Aid’s policy, public affairs and campaigns director, Osai Ojigho said: “Had we seen leadership today, we would have seen a chancellor adopt a ‘polluter pays’ principle to raising taxes on fossil fuel giants and the extremely wealthy to tackle the climate crisis.

“We would have seen a chancellor tackle global inequality by agreeing to legislation to get debts cancelled for the poorest countries.

“We didn’t see leadership today. It leaves people to ask how the government’s new international development strategy, published this week, will be realised.”

Image credit: Shutterstock

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

Scotland to scrap its 2030 climate target

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s major cities lag well behind their European counterparts in terms of public transport use. Linking development to transport routes might be the answer, argues Huw Morris

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

A hangover from EU legislation, requirements on the need for consideration of nutrient neutrality for developments on many protected sites in England were nearly removed from the planning system in 2023.

2nd April 2024

Read more

It’s well recognised that the public sector has the opportunity to work towards a national net-zero landscape that goes well beyond improving on its own performance; it can also influence through procurement and can direct through policy.

19th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close