Businesses and individuals indifferent to Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, our poll finds

Published by Daniel Grainge on 30 November 2023

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, delivered his Autumn Statement on Wednesday 22 November against the backdrop of the yet to be announced General Election.

With a reduction in National Insurance rates, permanent full expensing relief for companies, and further reform of R&D tax credits topping the ‘110 growth measures’ announced, there was a lot for businesses and individuals to unwrap.

To help them do so, we held an Autumn Statement question time webinar for clients and contacts, including a straw poll on the Chancellor’s announcement and business sentiment.

Over 100 businesses and individuals participated in the polls with the overwhelming majority (47%) indifferent to the Chancellor’s growth plan. However, 35% did say they felt ‘positive’ following the Autumn Statement, with 18% saying they felt ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’.

The majority of businesses that took part in the polls (47%) will be prioritising sustaining their business over the next 3-6 months, with 39% prioritising going for growth, 8% on business survival and 2% currently looking for an exit.

Daniel Grainge, Partner and Head of Tax at Kreston Reeves, said: “It is a truism of parliamentary fiscal announcements that they are made in the context of the election cycle. Here, with the General Election no more than 14 months away, this announcement has fired the starting gun.

“Inflation (at 4.6%) is half what it was when the Prime Minister took over last autumn. It is, however, still about three times what it was when he was Chancellor.

“Over half (53%) of those polled believe the election will be held in Autumn 2024, 19% in Spring 2024, 13% in Summer 2024 and 15% in Winter 2024/25.

“Unless the next election is called in Spring 2024, we can expect some big headline announcements in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget.”

If you missed our Autumn Statement question time webinar, you can watch the recording here. Alternatively, if you have any questions about the announcements made, please get in touch with your usual Kreston Reeves contact or contact us here.

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