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The Autumn Statement 2023 – Key Predictions

The Autumn Statement, set to be delivered by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday, 22 November, is a critical juncture for the financial planning of businesses, marking a time when the Chancellor’s policies are laid bare for the year ahead.

At BK Plus, we’re attuned to the nuances that these announcements bring, understanding their profound implications for the fiscal health of your enterprise. With the economic landscape in a state of flux, our focus is on providing a clear and concise interpretation of the Chancellor’s policies, informed by the latest projections from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Key Financial Forecasts for Businesses

Upcoming Wage Adjustments

The financial blueprint for the coming year will be significantly influenced by the increase in the national living wage to at least £11 per hour for workers aged 23 and over. This rise, slated for April 2024, necessitates a strategic review of payroll budgets for businesses. BK Plus Accountants is at the forefront, ready to assist clients in integrating this change seamlessly into their financial planning.

Taxation in Focus

With the government’s stance on tax cuts remaining conservative due to the ongoing battle with inflation, businesses might not see a reduction in tax burdens as previously hoped. However, the call for a more competitive business tax framework is strong, especially from the manufacturing sector, which could signal a move towards fostering a more innovation-friendly business environment. Adding to this, the government’s proposed simplification of the Research and Development Tax Schemes, currently under consultation, could be a harbinger of further announcements in the Autumn Statement. We’re keeping a close watch on these developments to advise our clients on potential tax implications, including any new reporting deadlines that may arise.

Energy Bill Strategies

The anticipated conclusion of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme in March 2024 is a concern for businesses facing rising operational costs. BK Plus Accountants is monitoring the situation closely, ready to advise on financial strategies and potential government support measures that may be introduced to alleviate the pressure on businesses.

Business Rates and Relief

The speculation around business rates relief and its potential extension beyond April 2024 is a matter of great interest. The current relief provides a significant cushion for the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors. We’re tracking the discussions closely and will provide updates on how these decisions may impact your business’s bottom line.

Estate Planning and Taxation

The Autumn Statement may bring news on inheritance tax reforms, which could have significant implications for business owners and high net worth individuals’ estate planning strategies. Considering that allowances have been static since 2008 amidst complex reliefs, there’s speculation about a potential comprehensive overhaul of the regime. Last year’s forecasts suggested that Inheritance Tax receipts might climb to £8.4 billion by 2028, a sum that the government, given the current economic climate, might be reluctant to forego. While we await concrete details, any reforms could either open up new avenues for tax-efficient wealth transfer or, conversely, heighten the need to undertake lifetime planning sooner rather than later.

Savings and Investment Incentives

An increase in the ISA allowance could be a boon for savers and investors, potentially rising to £30,000. This adjustment would offer a substantial incentive for individuals and businesses to increase their savings and investments.

Upcoming Autumn Statement Breakdown

As the details of the Autumn Statement unfold, BK Plus will be on hand to deliver the key points that matter to your business. Look out for our follow-up analysis, where we’ll break down the implications and offer clear, actionable advice to help you stay ahead in the coming financial year.

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