Rishi Sunak overhauls business rates and Universal Credit in his Autumn Budget

Chancellor also announces tax cuts and reforms to Alcohol Duty as he claims the UK is recovering well from the economic impact of the pandemic
Source: Alamy

By John Johnston

27 Oct 2021

Rishi Sunak has claimed the UK's economic recovery from the pandemic is faster than our "major competitors" as he sets out an Autumn Budget that he said included the highest departmental spending in a century.

The chancellor insisted his economic plan was "working" as he claimed wages were growing and unemployment was coming down.

Setting out his plan to MPs on Wednesday,  Sunak said: "Today’s Budget delivers a stronger economy for the British people: stronger growth, with the UK recovering faster than our major competitors.

"Stronger public finances, with our debt under control. Stronger employment, with fewer people out of work and more people in work. Growth up, jobs up, and debt down: Let there be no doubt – our plan is working."

Among his major pledges, Sunak announced:

  • A lower Air Passenger Duty rate for internal UK flights
  • A major overhaul of Alcohol Duty
  • Corporate tax on banks will increase from 27% to 28% in 2023
  • National Living Wage to rise to £9.50 per hour from next year

The chancellor also announced a major package of business rates reform that will cut the tax by around £7bn.

He said the system will become "fairer" for firms with rates revalued every three years from 2023, while the retail, hospitality and leisure will be given a one-year 50% discount up to a maximum of £110,000, to help them recover from the pandemic.

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