Budget 2021: The HUGE bill you face now Sunak has unveiled his financial plan

Budget 2021: Tory MPs 'fed up' with Rishi Sunak says Watt

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The Autumn Budget 2021 outlined the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s plans to get public finances on a stable footing after multiple Covid lockdowns prompted a 10 percent slump in the economy and the Government was forced to spend more than £100bn on supporting jobs through initiatives such as the furlough scheme. But rising inflation and a struggling economy are still putting pressure on Rishi Sunak’s Budget especially given the need to increase the burden on taxpayers to cover the cost of the pandemic. Express.co.uk spoke to financial experts about what the Autumn Budget 2021 is likely to cost you.

Mr Sunak set out his spending plans for transport, health and education on Wednesday, October 27, as he announced the Autumn Budget 2021.

In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the country is facing a tough period of economic recovery due to lockdowns, a cash-strapped NHS and social care industry – as well as new measures as the Government attempts to claw back funds spent during the crisis.

Households are also facing inflation which impacts food and energy bills especially, in addition to making it harder to pay rent and save. 

The Chancellor is also under increasing pressure to help people with rising prices and costs of living.

Polices include £5.9 billion for NHS England and pay rises across the public sector.

A rise in the National Living Wage and cuts to VAT on household energy bills were also unveiled by the Chancellor.

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Mr Sunak said the financial statement will prepare the country for a post-Covid “age of optimism”.

He revealed UK economic growth for 2021 has been revised upwards from four percent to 6.5 percent.

The Chancellor acknowledged concerns about rising inflation and living costs but said the Government is responsible for public finances.

He unveiled departmental spending will increase by £150bn over this Parliament meaning a real-terms rise in spending across the board.

Overall, the experts believe the key ways in which the Budget will hit UK taxpayers will be through taxation, changes to benefits and pensions and increases in green levies.

CEO Ed Rimmer at AIM-listed finance provider Time Finance said the Autumn Budget is not “for paying back” but instead is for growth. 

Mr Rimmer told Express.co.uk: “Aside from the recent increase in health and social care tax, this Budget hasn’t affected tax substantially and the national minimum wage increase will be welcome news across the board.

“We are a voice for small businesses and in my opinion, this Budget needed to do two things – it needed to protect businesses but it also needed to facilitate more spending amongst the general public.

“Industries like retail and hospitality suffered the most during the pandemic.

“They need buoyancy amongst the consumer market and the announcements from the Chancellor, particularly in terms of business rates relief, will definitely help this.”

Andrew Jackson from Fiander Tovell accountancy firm said: “What really sums up the Budget for me is: Some sensible tidying up, but to be frank it’s going to be a lockdown, petrol prices, inflation, and the supply chain that will have more impact on people over the next year or so. 

“You’ll need to save a lot of 3p’s off your beer if you have to buy petrol at £1.60 a litre.”

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A rise in National Insurance was announced by Mr Sunak on Wednesday.

The announcement was not a surprise, with the change being unveiled in September.

From April NI rates for both employees and the self-employed will increase by 1.25 percentage points across earnings bands – which will raise £12bn a year.

Working pensions will be asked to pay 1.25 percent on their earned income for the first time ever from April 2023.

David Baddeley, CEO of Scottish Trust Deed said: “For average working families wondering how to pay for the rise in costs of food, gas, national insurance, childcare, petrol and rail fares, the Budget offered little comfort. 

“The Government ended furlough this month, just when, arguably, families who are just about managing needed it the most.

“The National Minimum Wage going up to £9.50 per hour isn’t much higher than inflation, and saving a few pence on the occasional pint of beer won’t be enough to help those families who will be choosing eating or heating this winter.”

Nick Ritchie, director of Wealth Planning at RBC Wealth Management, said: “Buoyed by better than expected economic forecasts, the Chancellor’s statement was more about prosecco than pensions.

“Private investors will breathe a sigh of relief that feared increases to capital gains tax and a reduction in pension tax relief haven’t materialised.

“But while paying less for sparkling wine will be welcome news for many, the freezing of income tax thresholds and increase in national insurance announced earlier this year means household incomes continue to be eroded in real terms.

“Individuals should seek advice to understand the impact of rising inflation and interest rates on achieving their financial goals.

“There are still a number of tools available that can help investors maximise their return on investment at a time when it matters most.”

Council Tax has risen every year for the past 10 years under the Conservative Government.

The Chancellor continued this tradition on October 27 announcing an increase in local levies again.

This time, Council Tax is due to rise by up to five percent which will raise the annual bill for the average band D property to close to £2,000.

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