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UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled a series of new initiatives

Rishi Sunak Stamp Duty

In his recent Autumn Statement, UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled a series of initiatives impacting the rental and broader property sectors.

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Rental Market Support: The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will see a notable increase next year, reaching the 30th percentile of local market rents. This change, advocated by landlord and letting agency groups, aims to assist approximately 1.6 million households in private and social housing, translating to an average benefit of about £800 annually per household.

Planning and Development Flexibility: The government plans to consult on altering Permitted Development Rights. This would enable the conversion of houses into two flats without altering the external structure.

Energy Bill Relief: Residents living near new electric infrastructure like pylons and sub-stations will be eligible for up to £1,000 annually in energy bill reduction.

Planning Application Fees: Starting in 2024, local authorities will have the authority to fully recover costs associated with large-scale planning applications, provided they adhere to a guaranteed decision-making timeline.

Business Rates Reduction: The existing 75% relief for the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors will extend through 2025.

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Despite speculations, there were no announcements regarding changes to stamp duty or mortgage guarantee schemes that would benefit first-time home buyers.


Additional measures announced include:


– A 2% cut in Employee National Insurance, dropping to 10%, benefiting 27 million employees with an average saving of £450 starting January 6, 2024.


– Abolishment of Class 2 National Insurance for the self-employed, saving an average of £192 annually, and a reduction of Class 4 National Insurance from 9% to 8% from April, saving £150 per person.


– A 6.7% increase in Universal Credit and other benefits from April.


– A gradual decline in core inflation, targeting 2.8% in 2024 and 2.0% in 2025.


– A freeze on all alcohol duties until August 2024.


– An 8.5% increase in state pensions in April, adhering to the triple lock.


– A reduction in business tax by up to 25% by making ‘Full Expensing’ permanent for large companies investing in the UK.


– A £4.5 billion investment over five years in key industry sectors, including green technology and pharmaceuticals.

– A £50 million investment over two years to boost apprenticeships in crucial sectors.


– A £500 million allocation for AI and supercomputer development.


– Expansion of Freeports and Investment Zones in various regions, including Wales, the Midlands, and Greater Manchester.


– Reforms in long-term sickness benefits to encourage employment, including mandatory work placements after 18 months in some cases.


– A significant rise in the National Minimum Wage to £11.44 per hour, a 9.8% increase.


– A £7 million investment to combat anti-semitism in educational institutions.


It’s important to note that the Chancellor’s speech is just an overview of the Autumn Statement. Detailed documentation released subsequently often contains critical information that emerges over the following days.

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