Seven key takeaways from the Autumn Statement

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Now the dust has settled on the government’s recent Autumn Statement, it’s time to look at how it brought several important developments for the motor industry and motorists that everyone needs to be aware of. To help you push past the politics, I've delved into the details to extract the most relevant points for our sector. 

So, here are my takeaways of the key policies that stand to impact us the most:

  1. Funding for strategic manufacturing sectors: The government has earmarked £4.5 billion for strategic manufacturing sectors, including automotive and aerospace. This significant investment underscores the government's commitment to the growth and development of these industries, crucial for the future of motor manufacturing in the UK.
  2. Electric vehicle infrastructure: In a clear move towards sustainable transportation, the government plans to prioritise the rollout of EV charging infrastructure. This initiative, along with facilitating the installation of heat pumps, represents a pivotal step in supporting the transition to electric vehicles.
  3. Investment in the automotive sector: More than £2 billion is allocated specifically to the automotive sector. This funding will boost the manufacturing and development of zero-emission vehicles, their batteries, and supply chains, reflecting a strong focus on clean and sustainable vehicle technology.
  4. Enhancing apprenticeships: With a £50 million commitment to a two-year apprenticeships pilot, the government is investing in high-value apprenticeships and training in growth sectors. This initiative is vital for developing a skilled workforce ready to tackle the challenges of modern automotive technology. I will be following up with discovering exactly what this means for the motor industry.
  5. Support for small businesses and employees: The Autumn Statement includes a £4.3 billion business rates support package to aid small businesses and a tax cut for employees, reducing the main rate of Class 1 employee NICs from 12% to 10%. These measures will help alleviate financial pressures and encourage growth in the industry.
  6. Relief for the self-employed: The self-employed, a significant part of our industry, will benefit from a reduction in the main rate of Class 4 NICs and the abolishment of Class 2 NICs, enhancing their financial stability.
  7. Vehicle costs and fuel charges: Notably for motorists, the government will maintain the Van Benefit Charge and the Car & Van Fuel Benefit Charges at current levels for the next fiscal year. Additionally, Vehicle Excise Duty rates for cars, vans, and motorcycles will be adjusted in line with inflation from April 2024.

These policies collectively demonstrate the government's comprehensive approach to supporting the motor industry, focusing on technological innovation, environmental sustainability, and workforce development. They also show a commitment to easing the financial burden on small businesses, employees, and self-employed individuals within our sector.

For a more detailed analysis of how these developments impact the motor industry and what they mean for our future, look out for the November article in the Policy Watch newsletter. This in-depth piece will offer a closer look at the implications of the Autumn Statement and strategies for navigating these changes.

Hayley Pells is Policy and Public Affairs Lead at the Institute of the Motor Industry. The IMI’s Policy Watch, which is also shared on LinkedIn monthly, provides your regular insights and perspectives on what lies ahead for the motor industry.