Today the Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Autumn Budget Statement and Spending Review, detailing how the government plan on supporting the Covid-19 recovery effort.
The Chancellor said that due to the government support provided, the expected GDP growth is now 6.5% compared to the 4% forecasted in March. The Office for Budget Responsibility expects unemployment to peak at 5.2%, 2 million people fewer than initially expected.
There were a number of key announcements for businesses including a 50% business rates discount for those in retail, hospitality, and leisure (up to £110k), the biggest cut in business rates for 30 years.
The national minimum wage is also set to rise to £9.50 an hour (an increase of 6.6%) for workers aged over 23 with a rise also for people aged 21 to 22.
There were also significant investments announced in skills and infrastructure, along with better access to finance.
There is much to celebrate in the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget, and we welcome the further support provided to businesses.
A change in the business rates system will provide relief for businesses across the country, this will hopefully allow businesses one less thing to worry about and can now focus their efforts on planning for the future.
After such a difficult period for many businesses, there are still challenges to navigate. Issues around supply chains, labour shortages and price rises will be keep businesses on their toes, this may cause business recovery to falter. The Chancellor should be prepared to take further action in necessary to allow a full recovery from the effects of the pandemic.