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Home / News and Insights / Press / Our experts respond to the Autumn Statement 2023

On Wednesday 22 November 2023, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt outlined the government’s tax and spending plans for the year ahead in his Autumn Statement, with the main measures affecting taxation and wages, benefits and pensions, the economy and public finances, business and infrastructure, as well as government spending.

John Stephenson and Elizabeth Neale, partners in our private real estate and private wealth teams respectively, comment on the contents of the announcements:

Stamp duty

In articles for both IFA Magazine and Property Industry Eye, John Stephenson discusses the potential changes to Stamp Duty which he expects to see outlined in the Spring Budget, and the impact that changes will have on buyers.

‘Jeremy Hunt appeared to be sizing up some adjustments to stamp duty but seems to have decided to wait until the Spring Budget – and closer to the next general election – to make any announcements.

‘Hopefully it will be something substantive, as simply adjusting the bands may not really make a long-term difference to buyers, other than injecting some air into the housing market.

‘Given that the opposition is currently around 20-points ahead in the polls and has indicated that they are unlikely to change the current levels of stamp duty, and would even consider increasing the rates for certain buyers, it seems unlikely that we will see any actual alteration to stamp duty in the future, at least not until after the General Election.

‘The UK has always had a strong propensity toward home ownership over renting – much more than, for example, Europe – and the health of our housing market and the ability for people, especially the young and families, to buy a home, is and will remain an influential factor in people’s opinion of their government.’

Inheritance tax

Also featuring in IFA MagazineElizabeth Neale comments on the absence of inheritance tax cuts in the Chancellor’s statement.

‘Given how widely it had been discussed in the press, some may be surprised that the Chancellor did not make any announcements around inheritance tax in his Statement; however he decided to concentrate on business and employment taxation which affects many more people

‘It is disappointing that the Chancellor has not taken this opportunity to potentially remove some of the complexities of the inheritance tax system, but there may yet be changes announced in the Spring 2024 Budget. More detail on the future of inheritance tax may or may not emerge in each party’s election manifesto.’

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