Spring statement – what we learned as Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled latest plans to tackle the cost of living crisis and soaring inflation

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled cuts to fuel duty, National Insurance and income tax in a bid to ease the cost of living crisis.

Addressing the House of Commons today (Wednesday, March 23) for the Spring Statement ‘mini budget’, the government confirmed a raft of measures in an attempt to address an inflation rate which has hit a 30-year high.

Among the most eye-catching proposals is a 5p per litre cut in fuel duty due to come into effect from 6pm on Wednesday and last until March next year.

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Motorists have been hit by record pump prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to an increase in the cost of oil due to supply fears, while Sunak warned of a “challenging” economic outlook given the “global shocks we are facing”.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivering his Spring Statement in the House of Commons, London. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: House of Commons/PA Wire
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Other measures announced to Parliament include:

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*A cut to the basic rate of income tax from 20 pence in the pound to 19, before the end of the current Parliament, in 2024

*An increase in Employment Allowance of £5,000 from April, which Sunak described as a “new tax cut” and claimed would be worth up to £1,000 for half a million small businesses

*Work to start on a new “tax plan”, which will “help families with the cost of living”, “create the conditions for higher growth”, and “share the proceeds of growth fairly”

*The threshold for paying National Insurance will increase by £3,000 from July

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*The Household Support Fund is to be doubled, to £1 billion

*VAT on energy efficiency measures such as solar panels, heat pumps and insulation to be scrapped for five years

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