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Last edited 28 Oct 2021
Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021
The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Autumn Budget and Spending Review to Parliament on Wednesday 27 October 2021. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/autumn-budget-and-spending-review-2021
He suggested that annual growth will rebound by 6.5% in 2021, followed by 6% in 2022 and unemployment is expected to peak at 5.2% in 2022, lower than the 11.9% previously predicted. However, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that inflation will average 4% in 2022.
Some of the headline announcements in the budget included:
- Total departmental spending will increase by £150bn over the Parliament.
- The new Health and Social Care Levy, and an increase to the rates of dividend tax, will raise around £13 billion per year for spending on health and social care.
- From 1st April 2022 the National Living Wage will increase to £9.50 an hour.
- Fuel duty rates were frozen UK-wide.
- Schools will get an extra £4.7bn by 2024-25
- The Universal Credit taper rate will be cut by 8% no later than 1 December.
- £639 million per annum by 2024-25 to end rough sleeping in England.
- Increasing public investment in UK research and development to £20 billion by 2024-25.
- Funding will rise by an average of £4.6bn for the the Scottish Government, £2.5bn for the Welsh Government, and £1.6bn for the Northern Ireland Executive.
- The planned increase in the business rates multiplier will be cancelled.
- £6bn to help tackle NHS backlogs
Announcements that may affect the construction industry included:
- A 4% levy on property developers with profits over £25m to help create a £5bn fund to remove unsafe cladding.
- £24bn for housing, with £11.5bn for up to 180,000 affordable homes, and brownfield sites targeted for development.
- Allocation of the first round of the UK-wide Levelling Up Fund with £1.7 billion of local investment.
- £2.6bn between 2020-2025 for a new, long-term pipeline of over 50 local road upgrades in England and over £5 billion for local roads maintenance.
- £5.7 billion to eight English city regions over five years to transform local transport networks.
- £3 billion investment over the Parliament to ‘level up’ bus services in England.
- Up to £1.7 billion to enable a large-scale nuclear project to reach a final investment decision.
- £120 million for a new Future Nuclear Enabling Fund.
- £380 million for the offshore wind sector.
- £3.9 billion to decarbonise buildings.
- An increase in apprenticeship funding in England to £2.7 billion in 2024-25.
- £65 million to improve the planning regime through a new digital system.
There was also a public letter to the Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt stating that the Commission’s recommendations must be consistent with gross public investment in economic infrastructure of between 1.1% and 1.3% of GDP in each year between 2025 and 2055.
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves suggested the budget left voters paying "so much for so little" and that:“Families struggling with a cost-of-living crisis, businesses hit by a supply chain crisis, those who rely on our schools and hospitals and our police – they won’t recognise the world the Chancellor is describing."
Eddie Tuttle, Director of Policy, Public Affairs and Research at CIOB, said: ”The Institute is disappointed to see the Autumn Budget gave no further clarity on how Government intends to meet its manifesto spending commitments to drive to UK towards net zero. Both the Heat and Buildings Strategy and Autumn Budget should have included a greater focus on the need for a clear, long-term, National Retrofit Strategy to address the carbon output of homes whilst also tackling the key issue of quality." For more information see: CIOB response to the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021."
CITB Policy Director Steve Radley said: “Today’s large-scale investments in T levels, maths, Skills Bootcamps and modernising Further Education will provide crucial support on skills and should help to ease pressure on employers looking to recruit and train. Building better pathways into work through traineeships and bootcamps and helping colleges to modernise are key investments."
Builders Merchants Federation CEO John Newcomb said: "To match the scale and extent of the net zero challenge, all available funds should be redirected to boost apprenticeships that equip workers with the necessary technical or occupational skills - and the interpersonal skills to reassure homeowners and explain the carbon choices they can make."
RIBA president Simon Allford said:“The Chancellor’s message today feels out of sync with the long-term challenges our country faces. Rather than investing in the transition to a low-carbon future, we see significant amounts of money directed towards freezing fuel duty and cutting air passenger duties."
ECA Director of workforce and public affairs Andrew Eldred said: "We’d have liked to see more about investment in green upskilling, and particularly about increasing our engineering and technical capacity to deliver the transition to a green economy. We remain concerned about the lack of nationwide planning for EV charging points, and critically there was little about encouraging the further decarbonisation of the grid with more renewable energy and by abolishing disproportionate levies on electricity."
- Budget 2014.
- Budget 2015.
- Budget 2016.
- Budget 2020 and the first National Infrastructure Strategy.
- Budget 2020.
- Budget 2021.
- CIOB response to the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021.
- Spring Budget 2017.
- Spring Statement 2018.
- Spring statement 2019.
- Winter Support 2020 - 2021 packages for businesses.
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