It’s about a week to go until the Autumn Statement. The Chancellor will stand up on 22 November to reveal his plans.
But what can we expect?
On the face of it, there shouldn’t be much news – the current economic climate of high inflation and low confidence means that the Chancellor doesn’t have much money to play with.
However, the borrowing over the last six months was £ 20 billion lower than predicted, and we cannot forget that we are hurtling towards a general election, which could make the Autumn Statement more political than financial.
But the smart money thinks any significant tax breaks could be saved until the Spring budget so that they are fresh in the electorate’s memory when the election comes around.
There might be a few things or promises about what may be coming in the Spring to warm up the voters.
Back to Work
The Government is keen to get people back to work, and recently, we’ve seen pension limits increase and some generous childcare tax breaks.
Getting those people not in work due to sickness has been on the agenda. We could see tax breaks for employees who pay for health-related benefits and those not subject to taxation for the recipient.
The Conservatives are keen to abolish or significantly reduce stamp duty, which seems a difficult tax to justify, particularly for those downsizing.
Reduction in stamp duty also has the benefit of not directly affecting inflation.
Another tax that is not popular on the conservative side of the house. It is not that popular in the general population either. Having to pay another pile of tax on top of what you’ve paid during your lifetime.
However, the removal or reduction in inheritance tax is seen as a tax break for the rich, making it possibly an unpopular choice.
We think, though, that this could be the critical part of the autumn statement, giving a big break to conservative voters.