Other announcements

Other announcements
The Chancellor's Growth plan also announced the following:

Investment zones

The Government will work with the devolved administrations and local partners to introduce investment zones across the UK. These zones will have a range of benefits, including:

  • time-limited tax incentives;
  • accelerated development with streamlined planning requirements; and
  • greater control over local growth funding for areas with appropriate governance.

The following are among the ten-year tax-incentives that are being considered for England:

  • 100% relief from business rates on newly occupied business premises and certain existing businesses where they expand into an English investment zone tax site;
  • 100% first-year capital allowances for plant and machinery;
  • accelerated relief to allow businesses to reduce their taxable profits by 20% of the cost of qualifying non-residential investment a year;
  • zero-rate employer NICs on salaries of any new employee working in the tax site for at least 60% of their time, on annual earnings up to £50,270; and
  • full SDLT relief for land and buildings bought for use or development for commercial purposes and for purchases of land or buildings for new residential development.

The investment zones will be developed alongside the existing freeports programme.

Infrastructure planning reform

The Planning and Infrastructure Bill will accelerate major infrastructure projects across England by streamlining the regulatory and consent processes involved.

The Government will work with the devolved administrations in relation to devolved planning responsibilities.

Pensions cap charge 

Regulations will be introduced to remove ‘well-designed performance fees’ from the occupational defined contribution pension charge cap.

VAT-free shopping

A new shopping scheme free from any value added tax (VAT) will be developed for overseas visitors to Great Britain. This will enable them to obtain a VAT refund on goods bought in the high street, airports and other departure points and exported from the UK in their personal baggage. A consultation will gather views on the approach and design of the scheme, to be delivered as soon as possible.

Childcare reform

The Government has promised to bring forward reforms to improve access to affordable and flexible childcare.

Universal Credit

From January 2023, the administrative earnings threshold (AET) will increase to 15 hours a week at national living wage (£9.50 an hour) for an individual claimant and 24 hours a week for couples. This follows on from the increase to 12 hours for individuals and 19 hours for couples coming into effect from 26 September 2022.

Alongside the changes to the AET, the sanctions regime will be strengthened to set clear work expectations. Claimants could have their benefits reduced if they do not fulfil their job-search commitment without good reason.

Work coach support for over 50s

Additional work coach support will be provided to new eligible over 50s claimants and – for the first time – to over 50s who are long-term unemployed. The Government will work with the Northern Ireland Civil Service to determine the most suitable arrangements for Northern Ireland in due course.

If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.