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National insurance cut for 28m people to feature in autumn statement – report

Cuts to national insurance for 28 million people will reportedly be at the heart of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement on Wednesday.

His deputy Laura Trott has already indicated that individuals will also benefit from a giveaway in a hint that either income tax or national insurance could be reduced.

The Times reported that the Government is set to reduce headline rates of national insurance as well as make permanent a £10 billion-a-year tax break for companies that invest in equipment and technology.

POLITICS Budget
POLITICS Budget

With the Bank of England forecasting a stagnant economy in 2024, the Chancellor’s Commons statement on Wednesday is expected to focus on backing businesses.

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The Government has also announced an increase in the national living wage, up from £10.42 to £11.44 from April, with the policy also extended to cover workers aged 21 and over, rather than 23 and over.

It will mean a £1,800 annual pay rise next year for a full-time worker on the living wage, while 18 to 20-year-olds will receive a £1.11 hourly rise to £8.60.

Treasury Chief Secretary Ms Trott has indicated that workers could be in line for a tax cut.

She told the BBC’s Today programme the Government would focus on “cutting taxes for individuals”.

A tighter approach to welfare is also expected with plans to get people off benefits and into jobs.

Those with mental health or mobility problems could be told to search for jobs that are possible to do from home.

Free prescriptions and legal aid will be cut off for benefits claimants deemed fit to work who do not look for employment, the Government announced last week.