On 27th October 2021, Rishi Sunak unveiled the Autumn Budget and made some significant announcements about Universal Credit, alcohol tax and airline passenger duty. He told the country that this new budget will pave the way for an age of optimism in a post-covid world, but what does this really mean for you? We’re breaking down the key points of the Autumn Budget to help you figure out what to expect.
A boost for working Universal Credit claimants.
Millions of households will be able to keep more of their Universal Credit benefits following Sunak’s latest changes. This comes after the Government received increasing pressure to help those on benefits following the £20 a week uplift ending. It was announced that the taper rate for Universal Credit would be reduced from 63% to 55%. This means that for each £1 earned, just 55p of benefits will be taken as opposed to the previous rate of 63p. The new measures will come into place on 1st December 2021 and are expected to help roughly two million people.
A continued freeze on Fuel Duty.
There has been a freeze on the tax on fuel for 11 years and many people had expected Sunak to announce a change to this in the latest statement. While the Government had planned an increase in 2021, the recent fuel crisis has caused the Government to have a rethink on the proposed increase. Fuel duty is frozen at 57.95p per litre which is expected to save the average motorist nearly £2,000 over the next five years.
Cheaper pints with an amended Alcohol Duty system.
Going forward, alcoholic beverages will be taxed depending on their alcohol content. It means that drinks with a high alcohol content are likely to increase in price, while lower alcohol drinks will be cheaper. This includes the likes of beer and cider, which are expected to reduce in price following this change.
Changes to Airline Passenger Duty.
Anyone who flies within the UK will be pleased with this announcement in the Autumn Budget, but those who are fond of a long-haul trip might be less enthusiastic. Airline passenger duty is set to be halved for domestic flights between England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. At the same time, a new rate of £91 per passenger will be added for long-haul flights which cover over 5,500 miles. These changes are due to come into effect in April 2023.
An increase to the lowest wages.
From April 2022, the minimum wage is increasing and the National Living Wage is rising from £8.91 to £9.50 per hour. The National Living Wage is for everyone aged 23 and over, and the minimum wage (for all other ages) is also rising. This brings the National Living Wage to the same rate as the Living Wage Foundation. However, as the cost of living is continuing to rise, it is expected that the Real Living Wage will be increased soon as well.