HM Treasury Autumn AnnouncementYesterday’s Autumn Statement was Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first major announcement since taking office. There was welcome news for startups and small businesses, including the announcement that additional support will be provided for export opportunities and confirmation that there will be a fall in Corporation Tax. Below we’ve rounded up the key points that you should know about.

Wages, tax and fuel

Hammond confirmed that The National Living Wage will increase from £7.20 to £7.50 an hour from April next year. The increase will mean that it will be the equivalent of a pay rise worth over £500 a year to a full time worker. As predicted, the chancellor confirmed that Corporation Tax will fall to 17% from 20%, making it the lowest rate of Corporation Tax in the G20. Interestingly there was very little mention of the Government’s Making Tax Digital initiative. All that was said in the fully Treasury Report was:  “In January 2017, the government will publish its response to the Making Tax Digital consultations and provisions to implement the previously announced changes.” It remains to be seen if any changes will be made to Making Tax Digital, based on responses to the recent public consultations.

Fuel duty will also remain frozen for a seventh consecutive year, which Hammond confirmed was the longest freeze for 40 years.

Growth and development

The government confirmed that it will implement Sir Charlie Mayfield’s review of business productivity and will provide £13m to help businesses improve their management skills.

In a bid to encourage more startups to scale and stop making an exit to a larger firm, the Chancellor announced the government will pour £400m into small businesses with potential for growth.

Hammond also said that the government will be launching a £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to provide major additional spending to specific areas such as transport, digital communications, research and development and housing in order to boost productivity.

Infrastructure support

The government pledged that it will provide a £1.1bn worth of funding to upgrade local roads and public transport and £27m is earmarked to develop an expressway connecting Oxford and Cambridge.

A further £1bn investment was promised to roll-out more full-fibre broadband by 2020-2021. From April 2017, Hammond stated that it will provide 100% business rates relief for new full-fibre infrastructure for a five year period.

So what are your thoughts on the Autumn Statement? Can you see your business benefiting from the recent announcements? Drop us a message on our Facebook or Twitter page if you have something to say.

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