Here are the bullet points from his announcement:
· Energy crisis update
The energy price guarantee will remain at £2,500 with an extension of three months until June - it will save the average family an additional £127.
The energy premium for those on pre-paid meters will be coming to an end (30th June) to ensure those on pre-paid meters will be paying comparable prices to those on direct debits. The difference will be paid by the Government. This is an equivalent to a 3% relative reduction (£45 typical bill)
· Swimming pools
£63m fund allocated to help keep leisure centres afloat amid the rising costs or maintaining swimming pools.
· Brexit pubs guarantee
From 1st August 2023, the duty on draft products in pubs will be up to 11p lower than duty in supermarkets.
‘British ale may be warm, but the duty on a pint is frozen’.
· Fuel duty
Fuel duty will be frozen for 13th year in a row, not inflated, saving the average driver £100 next year – the current 5p reduction will be maintained for a further year.
· Inflation to fall
Inflation to fall from 10.7% last year to 2.9% by the end of the year.
· Total of £11bn to be added to defence budget
The government will add a total of £11bn to our defence budget over the next five years and it will be nearly 2.25% of GDP by 2025. On veterans, Hunt says he's today increasing support for ex-servicemen and women.
A package worth £30m will increase the Budget of the Office for Veterans' Affairs
· One for the road!
An extra £200 million will be provided to the ‘pothole fund’ to help local communities tackle the problem.
· Corporation tax increase
Corporation tax for businesses is to increase from 19% to 25%, as planned.
Firms which make a profit of more than £250,000 will pay 25% tax on their profits from April.
Hunt says only 10% of companies will pay the full 25% rate.
New policy introducing ‘full capital expensing’ for the next 3 years, meaning every £1 invested in IT equipment, plant or machinery can be deducted in full and immediately from taxable profits.
· Research and Development
Small or medium-sized businesses will be able to claim a credit worth £27 for every £100 they spend if they spend 40% or more of their total expenditure on Research and Development.
· Disability or sickness reforms
Proposed plans to abolish workplace capability assessments – claimants will be able to seek work without losing support.
In England and Wales, they will fund a new programme called ‘Universal support voluntary employment scheme’ for disabled people. Support of up to £4K per person to help them find jobs. There is also a £400m plan to increase available mental health support for those out of work due to mental health issues.
· Universal credit
For those on Universal Credit without health conditions or those on low earnings, rigorous sanctions will be applied to those who fail to meet strict work search requirements.
It will be tougher for people who don’t work, but whom the Government thinks can.
Increase admin earning threshold to 18 hours, those working under this will receive more support.
· Encouraging Over 50s to remain in, or return to, work
Announcing the introduction of ‘Returnerships’ – new apprenticeships for over 50s to operate alongside skills boot camps.
The government will also increase the number of 50+ Universal Credit claimants who receive mid-life MOTs from 8,000 to 40,000 a year.
So called mid-life MOTs looks at a person's "finances, skills and health, and enables them to better prepare for their retirement and build financial resilience".
· Pension reforms
The maximum annual amount you can put into a pension is to increase £40,000 to £60,000
Lifetime allowance abolished. There will no longer be a £1m cap on how much you can put in a pension. This is said to be done to help GPs and others stay in work.
· Childcare suppliers
There has been a decline in childminders coming into the profession resulting in the government introducing a pilot incentive scheme to provide an initial payment of £600 for those who join profession, £1200 for those who join via an agency.
Government acknowledges that childcare providers costs have significantly increased with the cost of living therefore they are increasing the allowable ratios of adults to children from 1:4 to 1:5 for two-year-olds. Providers are under no obligation to operate at the higher ratio.
· Help with childcare costs
To help those parents moving into work who are currently on Universal credit, childcare costs are to be paid upfront with a one off one-month payment, increasing from £646 to £951 per month for those with one child and £1,108 to £1,629 per month for those with two children.
All adults of household working at least 16 hours, who earn less than £100,000, 30 hours of free childcare will be provided for children over 9 months, within term-time. This will be a phased introduction as follows:
· -From April 2024, 2yr olds will be added to the current 15 hours a week provision provided for those 3yrs and up
· -From Sept 2024 all children 9months-3yr will be able to claim 15 hours a week
· -From Sept 2025 all 9 months to school age will be able to claim 30 hours per week.