Increased minimum wages and cuts to National Insurance announced
Increased National Living Wage and cuts to National Insurance have been revealed in the Autumn Statement from Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt.
Here’s what you need to know:
Government will cut the main rate for employee National Insurance from 12% to 10% – a £450 tax cut for the average worker earning £35,400. It is currently charged at 12% on earnings between £12,571 and £50,271, and 2% on anything above that. Emergency legislation will bring this in from 6 January.
The Class 2 National Insurance charge for self-employed people earning more than £12,570 will be scrapped. This move will abolish a flat rate compulsory charge of £3.45 a week, saving the average self-employed person £192 a year according to the Chancellor.
Self-employed people who pay Class 4 National Insurance at 9% on all earnings between £12,570 and £50,270 will see that cut by 1% to 8% from April.
The National Living Wage will rise from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour in April next year, an increase of 9.8% and worth up to £1,800 for a full-time worker. The higher wage will also be paid to 21- and 22-year-olds for the first time.
The minimum hourly wage for an apprentice will see a 21 per cent increase to £6.40 an hour from April, a rise from £5.28.
The Chancellor will extend the 75% business rate discount up to £110,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure for another year. “We’re delighted that the Chancellor has responded to our calls for a continuation of the 75% retail business rates discount,” said Caroline Larissey, chief executive of the NHBF. “This will give very welcome relief to businesses struggling to cover overheads. Sector recovery has been slow and steady since the Spring and many businesses are still battling to clear Covid debts.”
Hunt announced £50m in funding in a two-year pilot scheme to increase the number of apprentices in “key growth sectors”, but aside from engineering no other sector details were revealed. “We look forward to hearing more about how the hair & beauty sector will be supported,” added Caroline. “Employer incentives to support education and training particularly apprenticeships are desperately needed to ensure the future talent pipeline to our vibrant, creative and innovative sector. Given rising wage costs in the spring, sector employers, mostly small and micro businesses, won’t be rushing to take on new staff without additional support.”