2022 Autumn Statement

Jeremy Hunt delivered the government’s Autumn Statement on 17 November 2022.

Income Tax

As expected, the personal allowance (the amount you can earn before you start paying income tax) remains at £12,570.

The amount people will have to earn before they pay income tax at 40% remains at £50,270 and will remain at this level until April 2028.

The Chancellor has reduced the amount you can earn before paying the additional rate of income tax of 45% from £150,000 to £125,140. 

These changes won’t automatically apply to Scottish tax-payers, this decision will be made by the Scottish Government.

National Insurance

The Chancellor confirmed National Insurance contributions from 6 April 2023 will continue at their current rates. To confirm, this means:

  • Class 1A and 1B employers pay 13.8% on earnings over £9,100.
  • Class 1 employees pay 12% on their earnings between the primary threshold and the upper earnings limit; between £12,570 and £50,270.
  • Class 1 employees pay 2%, on their earnings above the National Insurance contributions upper earnings limit.

Corporation Tax

The Chancellor confirmed the proposed increase to 25%, planned for 1 April 2023, will take place.

Inheritance tax

The inheritance tax threshold will be maintained at the existing level of £325,000 until April 2028.

Pensions

State pension

The ‘triple lock’ will still apply to State pensions. CPI was 10.1% in September 2022 which was greater than 2.5% and the increases in earnings so the new and basic rate pension will increase by 10.1%.

This means the New State Pension for someone with a full National Insurance contribution record will increase from £185.15 per week to £203.85 per week.

The Basic State Pension for someone with a full National Insurance contribution record will increase from £141.85 per week to £156.20 week.

The age state pension is paid is legislated to increase over the next 25 years. There will be a review of this published in 2023 which will consider whether the existing timetable remains appropriate. 

Lifetime allowance

The lifetime allowance remains at £1,073,100 for 2023/24.

Annual allowance

The annual allowance remains at £40,000 for 2023/24.

Money purchase annual allowance

The money purchase annual allowance remains at £4,000 for 2023/24.

Tapered annual allowance

Threshold income remains at £200,000 and adjusted income at £240,000 for 2023/24.

Savings

ISAs

The adult ISA annual subscription limit for 2023/24 will remain unchanged at £20,000.

The junior ISA annual subscription limit for 2023/24 will remain unchanged at £9,000.

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Mini Budget U-Turn Update

On Friday 14th October, Liz Truss announced a change of Chancellor, from Kwasi Kwarteng to Jeremy Hunt. This was swiftly followed by a series of U-turns culminating in Mr Hunt delivering an ‘emergency statement’ on Monday 17th October. This emergency statement effectively replaces and re-writes the mini-budget.

Designed to ensure the UK’s economic stability and provide confidence in the Government’s commitment to fiscal discipline, the emergency statement confirmed:

Income tax – the basic rate of income tax will remain at 20% until economic conditions allow for it to be cut. This had been due to drop to 19% from 6 April 2023.

It had already been confirmed that the ‘additional rates’ of income tax for those earning more than £150,000 a year, including the 45% rate on non-savings income, would remain in 2023/24.

Income tax on dividends – will remain at the current rates of 8.75% in the basic rate band, 33.75% in the higher rate band and 39.35% in the additional rate band. They had been due to each drop by 1.25 percentage points from 6 April 2023.

Corporation tax – the increased corporation tax rates, already legislated to come in from 1 April 2023, will go ahead. These will take some companies from a 19% rate of corporation tax to 25% or 26.5%. It had been proposed that corporation tax would remain at a single 19% rate.

IR35 – the off-payrolling rules, as introduced in 2017 and 2021, will remain into 2023/24 and beyond. This keeps the IR35 compliance burden with medium and large sized employers.

Energy Price Guarantee – the support for households to cap average annual electricity and gas costs at £2,500 will be reviewed in April 2023. We had been told that households would receive this support until September 2024.

VAT – a VAT-free shopping scheme for non-UK visitors to Great Britain will no longer be pursued.
Alcohol duties – will not be now frozen from 1 February 2023 and increased duties will apply.

The following mini-budget announcements remain:

NIC – The 1.25% rise in NICs will still be reversed from 6 November and the government will not go ahead with the planned 1.25% levy to fund health and social care next year.

AIA – The annual investment allowance will remain at £1 million from 1 April 2023, rather than reverting to £200,000.

Investment Zones – There are to be more than 40 new “investment zones” in England.

Stamp Duty – The increased thresholds for Stamp Duty Land Tax in England and Northern Ireland, as implemented from 23 September, will remain in place. No stamp duty for property up to £250k and £425k if you are a first time buyer.

Energy – The Energy Bill Relief Scheme for Business will continue to be subject to a governmental review after 31 March 2023. The Chancellor has now said that any support for businesses will be targeted to those most affected, and that the new approach will better incentivise energy efficiency.

On 31 October, Mr Hunt will present an update on the government’s medium term fiscal plan, complete with Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts. Further changes to fiscal policy are expected to be announced at this time.

Mini Budget – September 2022 (Part 2)

Work and investment
• IR35 rules – the rules which govern off-payroll working – to be simplified
• Annual investment allowance, the amount companies can invest tax free, remains at
£1m indefinitely
• Regulations change so pensions funds can increase UK investments
• New and start-up companies able to raise up to £250,000 under scheme giving tax
relief to investors
• Share options for employees doubled from £30,000 to £60,000
Stamp duty
• Cut to stamp duty which is paid when people buy a property in England and Northern
Ireland
• No stamp duty on first £250,000 and for first time buyers that rises to £425,000 –
comes into operation today
• 200,000 more people will be taken out of paying stamp duty altogether, government
claims
Energy (see appendix)
• Freeze on energy bills, which the government claims will reduce inflation by 5
percentage points
• Total cost for the energy package expected to be around £60bn for the six months
from October
Bankers’ bonuses
• Rules which limit bankers’ bonuses scrapped
• Package of regulatory reforms to be set out later in the autumn
Shopping
• VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors
• Planned increases in the duties on beer, for cider, for wine, and for spirits cancelled

Infrastructure and investment zones
• Government discussing setting up investment zones with 38 local areas in England
• Tax cuts and liberalised planning rules to be offered to release land for housing and
commercial use
• Investment zones offered measures such as no business rates and stamp duty waived
• New legislation to cut planning rules, get rid of EU regulations and environmental
assessments in an effort to speed up building

Appendix – Energy
What is the energy plan for households?
The measures to help households include:
• a typical household’s energy bill will rise to £2,500 a year from 1 October (from
£1,971)
• the “energy price guarantee” will last two years
• this is not a limit on how much you will pay – your bill depends on how much energy
you actually use
• before the announcement, typical household bills had been due to rise to £3,549 a year
• the plan applies to all households in England, Scotland and Wales; the “same level of
support” will be available in Northern Ireland
• the one-off £400 fuel bill discount payments for households will go ahead
• anyone who doesn’t use mains gas and electricity – such as those using heating oil –
will receive an extra £100 on top of the £400 discount.
How will the energy price guarantee work?
The energy price guarantee replaces the existing energy price cap, which sets the highest
amount suppliers are allowed to charge domestic households for every unit of energy they
use.
These energy units are the kilowatt hours (kWh) shown on bills.
From 1 October, dual-fuel customers on a standard variable tariff will pay:
• 34p per kWh of electricity
• 10.3p per kWh of gas

On this basis, a typical household can expect to pay about £2,500 a year.
But most households aren’t actually typical. Many factors – like the number of people in a
house, the type of property it is, and how much heating and power they use – all make a
difference.

Mini Budget – September 2022 (Part 1)

Pensions
• The government will bring forward draft regulations to remove well-designed
performance fees from the occupational defined contribution pension charge cap,
ensuring that savers benefit from higher potential investment returns

National Insurance
• Reverse of the recent rise in National Insurance (NI) from 6 November
• Workers and employers have paid an extra 1.25p in the pound since April
• New Health and Social Care Levy to pay for the NHS will not be introduced

Corporation tax
• Cancel rise in corporation tax which was due to increase from 19% to 25% in April
2023

Income tax
• Cut in basic rate of income tax to 19% from April 2023
• Government estimates 31 million people getting £170 a year more
• Currently, people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland pay 20% on any annual
earning between £12,571 to £50,270 – rates in Scotland are different
• 45% higher rate of income tax abolished
• One single higher rate of income tax of 40% from April next year

Benefits
• Rules around universal credit tightened, by reducing benefits if people don’t fulfil job
search commitments
• Around 120,000 more people on Universal Credit to be asked to take steps to seek
more work, or face having their benefits reduced
• Jobseekers over 50 to be given extra time with work coaches to help them return to
job market

2008 – 2022

This month we celebrate 14 years since Trafford and Houghton started.

The success of Trafford and Houghton has been made possible thanks to our vision, our committed staff and loyal customers.

Thank you for being part of the story so far.

Risen by £728 million and still rising

The IHT Boom

You can’t open a newspaper without reading about the return of inflation.

An article caught my eye recently. It contained some figures which I think have important implications.

In the year to April, an extra £728 million was collected in inheritance tax (IHT) compared to the previous 12 months.1  Not an insignificant increase!

With inflation running at a 40-year high2 and IHT allowances frozen, receipts will only climb further. Families are forecast to pay £37 billion in IHT over the next five years.3

Some clients may be dragged into the IHT net as the value of their home and assets increase so it is important to prioritise estate planning.

1HMRC tax receipts and National Insurance contributions for the UK, HMRC, 26 April 2022
2Consumer Price Inflation, Office for National Statistics, May 22
3Economic and fiscal outlook, Office for Budget Responsibility, March 2022

*Octopus Investments June 2022

Don’t panic, a lesson from our recent history

Obviously our primary hope, is that the situation in The Ukraine can de-escalate as soon as possible. The people effected are in our thoughts at this time.

My job, however, is to talk to people a little closer to home about the impact on investment markets.

There’s no getting away from the facts, the majority of our investments have seen losses in recent weeks.

So, what do we do.?

My answer is always to stick to the rules

Time

Diversity

Avoid Greed

Avoid Fear

Take Advice.

The last time we had significant falls in investment values was during the start of the Pandemic.

On March 17th, we wrote to our clients with the following letter.

The current situation regarding Coronavirus and its impact on investments.

We felt it would be a good idea to write to you regarding the current situation on Coronavirus and its impact on investments.

Firstly, our main hope is that the impact of this virus causes the least damage possible and that people are able to continue with their lives.

We continue to follow advice from the Government regarding the office and what we should do. We have put in place measures, so should any of us need to self-isolate we would be able to work from home. We therefore expect to be able to keep the office open throughout.

Regarding investments, this has proven to be a very difficult time and (as ever) the stock market does not like uncertainty. Whilst these are unprecedented times, history tells us, that holding investments for the long term is normally the correct course of action. Short term panic can often lead to poor decisions and losses.

We always believe in long term investing and sticking to the principles of time and diversity whilst avoiding greed and fear.

As always, we will continue to act in your best interest.

6 days later, the world markets bottomed out, and by December that year the majority of our funds had recovered to above their previous highs.

Whether the falls will match those seen in February/ March 2020 or we will need to send another letter remains to be seen.

Nobody has a crystal ball

2008-2021

This month we celebrate 13 years since Trafford and Houghton started.

It has been quite a ride and the last 15 months have been a testing time for all of us.

The success of Trafford and Houghton has been made possible thanks to our vision, our committed staff and loyal customers.

Thank you for being part of the story so far.