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Raising child benefit threshold

The Chancellor revealed the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) threshold will rise.
Instead of kicking in at £50,000, from April 2024 it will move up to £60,000.

And a consultation is set to get underway on moving the charge to a household-based system in time to start by April 2026.

The Government said there was an unfairness in the current system – the fact it’s charged on an individual basis. The example it gave was
two parents earning £49,000 each (with a household income of £98,000) wouldn’t reach the…

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Childcare support expanded

Further information was set out on plans to extend the 30-hour free childcare offer to all children
of working parents from 9 months. Mr Hunt gave more details today, saying he would be guaranteeing rates paid to childcare providers. The impact of the plans
overall will mean an extra 60,000 parents entering the workforce in the next four years, Mr Hunt said.

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Fuel duty freeze extended

A 5p cut to fuel duty will be maintained – with a freeze extended for
another 12 months until February 2025. Mr Hunt said this will save the average motorist around £50 next year. It will also “bring total
savings since the 5p cut was introduced to around £250”, Mr Hunt added.

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Alcohol duty frozen until next year

The Government will freeze alcohol duty from 1 August 2024 until 1
February 2025, lengthening the six-month freeze announced at Autumn Statement 2023, with the intention to “support the hospitality
sector and help consumers with the cost of living”.

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Pension pots for life

There was a brief mention for the idea of giving people one ‘pension pot for life’.
The Chancellor said the Government will continue to explore previously trailed plans, with a consultation already underway.

The reforms would give workers the right to nominate the pension scheme they want their employer to pay into, which it’s claimed could help
solve the problem of lost pension pots as workers move jobs. He announced the plan in the Autumn Statement.

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Tax credits for film industry to rise

Some film studios are set to benefit from 40% gross business rates relief until 2034.
The UK has become “Europe’s largest film and TV production centre”, Mr Hunt said, before announcing the rate of tax credit available to the
industry will rise by 5%. Furthermore, an 80% cap for visual effects costs will be removed.

Orchestras, museums, galleries and theatres will also benefit from a permanent 45% tax relief for touring productions and 40% relief for non-touring
productions. The UK’s creative industries will be backed by over £1 billion…

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Research and Development funding

The Budget includes an additional £45 million to “accelerate medical research”
into common diseases like cancer, dementia and epilepsy. It’s part of a £360 million package to support innovative R&D and manufacturing
projects across the life sciences, automotive and aerospace sectors.

The Green Industries Growth Accelerator will be allocated an extra £120 million to build supply chains for offshore wind and carbon capture and
storage, officials added.

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New tax on vaping and tobacco duty rise

A duty on vapes will be introduced from October 2026. Officials said the move was designed to
“protect young people and children from the harm of vaping”. The existing tax on tobacco will increase, to maintain the “financial incentive to choose vaping
over smoking”. This will raise a combined £1.3 billion by 2028/29.

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Updates on the economy and Government spending

Inflation should fall below the 2% target set by the Government in a few months, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility report, Mr Hunt announced.
When he came to office inflation was at 11%, he said, whilst the latest figures show that it is now at 4%. Mr Hunt told MPs: “We have turned the corner on inflation.”

Debt and borrowing figures announced
Following OBR forecasts back in 2022 that headline debt would rise to above 100% of GDP, the Chancellor updated the Commons on projections for the next…

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Record Self-Assessment returns, but estimated 1m miss deadline

The record number of taxpayers submitting Self-Assessment tax returns was beaten in January, it’s
been revealed, with a new high of 11.5million being reached. That’s quite some number!

But, judging by the figures HMRC released, somewhere between 0.5million and 1.1million failed to send theirs in by the deadline of 31 January.

Of the 12.1 million expected to file for the 2022-2023 tax year 778,068 managed to file on the last day, with 61,549 submissions occurring during the
peak filing hour and 32,958 filed in the final hour.

The key stats released…

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