Autumn Budget – at a glance

28 October 2021 - Elizabeth O'Hanlon

Fuel duty

The planned rise of 2.8 pence in fuel duty will be cancelled, which will come as a relief to motorists hit by record prices at the petrol pumps. Fuel duty on petrol and diesel will remain at 57.95 pence per litre.

HGV road user levy

The road user levy for HGVs will be suspended until 2023. This had previously been suspended until August 2022, but this is now extended for another year.

Minimum wage

As had previously been well publicised, the minimum wage will rise from £8.91 to £9.50 in April 2022 for those aged 23 and over. The national minimum wage for workers aged 21 to 22 will increase to £9.18 an hour, while the apprentice rate will rise to £4.81.

Annual Investment Allowance

Businesses, including manufacturing firms, can continue to claim up to £1 million in same-year tax relief through the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) for capital investments in plant and machinery assets. The scheme was due to revert to a £200,000 allowance in January 2022 but will be extended to March 2023.

Transport

£2.6 billion has been promised via a “long-term pipeline” across the UK for more than 50 local road upgrades, including the Lake Lothing Third Crossing in Lowestoft, while more than £5 billion is being spent on local roads maintenance. There is also extra funding for buses, cycling and walking schemes totalling £5 billion.

HGV levy

Suspension of the HGV road user levy has been extended until July 31 2023, and a freeze on vehicle excise duty for heavy goods vehicles in 2022-23. There will be new funding to improve lorry park facilities.

Business rates

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive a discount of 50% to their business rates, up to a maximum of £110,000. Other business rates are retained, although revaluations will take place every three years from 2023 and a new investment relief will be introduced to encourage businesses to use green technology such as solar panels.

Capital Gains Tax payment on property disposal

A well-hidden point deep in the Budget documentation extends the deadline for residents to report and pay Capital Gains Tax after completion from 30 days to 60 days.

Property Developers Tax

There was confirmation of a new tax for large construction companies and property developers with profits over £25 million who will be charged an extra levy of 4%. There are a number of exclusions to the levy, including developments of care homes, student accommodation and not for profit housing companies.

Research and development

Rishi Sunak confirmed the government’s maintained its target to increase R&D investment to £22 billion by 2026-27, spending £20 billion a year on this by the end of this parliament – a cash increase of 50%. The £20 billion is in addition to the cost of R&D tax reliefs. However now we have left the EU, R&D tax relief will be limited to work undertaken in the UK. A second change is that expenditure on cloud computing and data is now eligible for R&D relief.

Alcohol duty

The excise system for alcohol has been overhauled, and put simply, the stronger the drink the higher the rate. From February 2023 sparkling wines (like prosecco), lower strength beers and fruit ciders will all attract a lower rate, and stronger wines and high-strength ciders will see an increase in duty to be paid. There is also a 5% cut in duty in draught beer and cider for drinks served from kegs over 40 litres. The planned increase in duty on spirits is cancelled.

Air travel

From April 2023 there will be lower air passenger duty rates for flights between airports in the UK.  Also starting in April 2023 will be an ‘ultra long haul’ extra charge for flights over 5,500 miles.

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