Chancellor announces raft of tax cuts designed to stimulate growth

23 September 2022 by
Chancellor announces raft of tax cuts designed to stimulate growth

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has announced cuts to corporation tax, alcohol duty and income tax as part of a raft of measures intended to stimulate economic growth.

In what has been called a mini budget but labelled a growth plan by the government, Kwarteng confirmed that the 1.25% rise in National Insurance would be reversed and that a planned increase in the amount of tax companies pay on profits would also be scrapped.

However, Kwarteng stopped short of addressing business rates or reducing VAT, a case long championed by hospitality, and one that would have a more direct impact on struggling businesses. The announcement included tax free shopping for overseas visitors, but the relief does not extend to spend in hospitality businesses.

Corporation tax, which Kwarteng said was "central to solving the riddle of growth", will now remain at 19%, rather than rise to 25% as previously presented by Boris Johnson.

The chancellor also said that a series of low-tax zones would be introduced, with discussions under way in areas including the Tees Valley, West Midlands and Norfolk to relax planning regulations.

In these areas he said there would be no stamp duty on purchases of land, no business rates on newly occupied premises, and no National Insurance to be paid by the employer for the first £50,000 salary on any new employees.

Addressing the Commons, Kwarteng said: "Growth is not as high as it needs to be, which has made it harder to pay for public services, requiring taxes to rise.

"This cycle of stagnation has led to the tax burden being forecast to reach the highest levels since the late 1940s. We are determined to break that cycle. We need a new approach for a new era focused on growth."

As part of the speech the Chancellor reaffirmed the intervention in energy policy. "People need to know that help is coming, and help is indeed coming" he said.

He confirmed that the Energy Bill Relief Scheme would reduce wholesale gas prices for six months from 1 October until 31 March 2023.

Under the scheme, the government has set a discounted price per unit of gas and electricity at £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas.

Meanwhile, the basic rate of income tax will be cut to 19p in April 2023 and tax on the highest earners will drop from 45% to 40%.

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