28.11.2023 | Tax

Autumn Statement – What stood out?

The team at Beatons round up some of the announcements that could affect the port community, from full expensing to a study on autonomous vehicles for growth.

Another autumn statement has been and gone, with more than 110 measures aimed at boosting business and investment. But what will their impact be?

Fuel Duty

No surprises really that this was frozen. It has been for 13 years and was cut last year.

Interestingly though, the OBR forecasts that fuel duty will increase next year. If The Chancellor doesn’t increase duty, he will have to find another £6.2bn by 2028/29 and the national debt would no longer be falling. However, increasing fuel duty in an election year after so many freezes would be bold. The extended freeze on fuel duty, coupled with the temporary cut in recent years, saw prices at the pumps fall back – although they remain higher than the level they were at before inflation started to bite worldwide.

Vehicle Excise Duty

The Chancellor announced that from 2025 electric cars would become liable for VED. This means all vehicles registered since April 2017 will pay the same annual tax rate, while the Expensive Car Supplement – an additional charge for the first five-yearly renewals – will apply to new registrations with a list price of £40,000 or more. While VED has been uprated, HGV VED and the HGV levy have been frozen.

Freeport Tax Reliefs

Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic regulations apply. Investments in these areas can benefit from tax and customs incentives. The Chancellor confirmed the Freeport Tax Relief sunset date extension, stating that the window to claim will be extended from 5 years to 10 years until September 2031.

Full expensing for capital allowances

The full expensing allowance has been made permanent after its success since being introduced in spring. The Chancellor hailed this the ‘biggest permanent tax cut in modern British history’.

Capital allowances are a type of tax relief for businesses, allowing a business to deduct some or all of the cost of an item from its profits before paying tax. This should boost investment and help at least some business sectors to grow as well as attract new business to the UK.

 Grant Funding Schemes

Various grant funding schemes were confirmed in the Autumn Statement which could help support businesses in the sector. Help to Grow is a course for SME leaders to increase productivity and seize investment opportunities. More support for Growth Hubs, which are

work across the country with local and national, public and private sector partners was mentioned, as well as help for businesses with Digital Adoption.

 Autonomous Vehicles for Growth

Following the release of its study on Connected and Automated Mobility Vehicles and how their use could deliver growth, The Chancellor confirmed the UK’s commitment to exploring the benefits of this to the economy. Could this have an impact on the logistics industry?

Payroll and national insurance

National Insurance changes will come into effect from 6 January so organisations must make sure payroll software is updated with the newly announced rates. Employee National Insurance contributions are to be cut from 12% to 10%. As an example, The Chancellor said this would put £450 back into the pocket of the average worker earning £35,400 a year.

For help or advice on any financial matters – whether mentioned in the autumn statement or not, the experts at Beatons would be more than happy to hear from you.

Get in touch – info@beatons.co.uk or call 01473659777.