Time is money so here are the top ten most relevant points to you from the autumn 2021 budget announcement by Rishi Sunak today. 

We have been keeping track of the budget 2021 announcements today through our live blog.

In brief, changes that are likely to impact you are the reduction in alcohol duty tax, an increase in minimum wage, the rising living wage, and help for services like the NHS.

1) Cheaper pints and champagne

A “draught relief” will apply a lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider, cutting the tax by 5% on drinks served from draught containers over 40 litres and bringing the price of a pint down by 3p.

“That’s the biggest cut to cider duty since 1923. The biggest cut to fruit ciders in a generation. The biggest cut to beer duty for 50 years,” Rishi Sunak said.

The change is set to come into effect by February 2023. 

2) Fuel duty rise scrapped

Rishi Sunak has announced that fuel duty will not increase, instead freezing the cost at 57.95p per litre.

There were fears that motorists’ wallets would be hit hard as the UK is already facing record high fuel costs as the price of a barrel of oil continues to rise.

3) National Living Wage up

The National Living Wage will go up by 6.6%. 

This means minimum wage will increase to £9.50 an hour next year, up from the current £8.91, for those aged 23 over.

  • For those aged 21-22: £8.36 becomes £9.18
  • For 18 to 20-year-olds: £6.56 becomes £6.83
  • For under-18s: £4.62 becomes £4.81
  • The Apprentice Rate: £4.30 becomes £4.81

4) Rising cost of living, your tax bill and universal credit

There is no doubt of the rising cost of living, the Office for Budget Responsibility predicting a 4% increase in costs due to inflation.

The Chancellor pledged a major increase in public spending, tax cuts for businesses, and investment to create a “new economy” based on high skills and wages following the pandemic.

Around £7 billion in business rate cuts have been announced, with the cancellation of next year’s planned increases and a 50% discount on business rates for a year for a series of retail and hospitality venues.

Mr Sunak dramatically reduced the UC “taper”, meaning that, instead of losing 63p of UC for every £1 earned above the work allowance, the amount will be reduced to 55p.

The amount people can earn before starting to lose the benefit will also increase by £500.

5) Funding for the NHS

A £5.9 billion package of funding was announced for the NHS and will help tackle backlogs and invest in technology. 

But, health leaders have suggested that recruitment, education and the workforce is the main NHS issue and they are concerned that this wasn't addressed.

6) Reduced domestic air travel

Mr Sunak promised a new, lower rate of air passenger duty on domestic flights within the UK, benefiting nine million passengers and helping regional airports.

Flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty from April 2023.

7) More funding to fight crime 

An extra £2.2 billion has been announced for courts, prisons and probation services, including £500 million to reduce the courts backlogs.

8) Childcare and parenting programmes uplift

Around £300 million will go towards “A Start for Life” parenting programmes, with an extra £170 million by 2024/25 going into paying for childcare.

9) What to do about the cladding crisis

Mr Sunak confirmed a levy will be placed on property developers with profits over £25 million at a rate of 4% to help create a £5 billion fund to remove unsafe cladding.

10) Money lessons and science lessons

A UK-wide £560 million numeracy programme, Multiply, will be set-up to help improve basic maths skills among millions of adults, Rishi Sunak confirmed.

The Chancellor also said core science funding will rise to £5.9 billion a year by 2024-25, a cash increase of 37%.

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