Summer has come to an end, and as we head towards the last few months of 2023 there’s been new updates in the world of business and tax that are important for business owners to make note of.

Here’s all the business and tax news from September!

Autumn Statement

Something that may be a date for your diary – Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced this month that the 2023 Autumn Statement will be presented on 22nd November 2023, which could provide important financial updates for businesses to consider.

No Opportunity For Tax Cuts

Despite increased calls for the government to cut taxes, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has once again ruled out the possibility of it happening saying that it was ‘virtually impossible’ due to the countries existing debt.

Speaking on LBC, he said: “It [debt] makes tax cuts virtually impossible, and it means that I will have another set of frankly very difficult decisions. All I would say is, if we do want those long-term debt costs to come down, then we need to really stick to this plan to get inflation down, get interest rates
down. I don’t know when that’s going to happen. But I don’t think it’s going to happen before the Autumn Statement on 22nd November, alas.”

UK Interest Rate Freeze

The Bank Of England have frozen interest rates at 5.25%, stopping the expected 15th consecutive rise.

Inflation unexpectedly slowed in August, although still remains high compared to the 2% target, which isn’t predicted to be hit until 2025.

Whilst freezing interest rates is a positive sign for people struggling with the constant rising rates, it’s still a high percentage that continues to have affects on people who are looking to pay off debts and maintain their mortgages.

Rise In Cash Payments

Cash Payments rose in the last year for the first time in a decade, after seeing a significant decrease due to the pandemic and changing working conditions that see more and more people take on hybrid working, or full-time working from home.

Debit cards are still the most popular form of payment however many consumers have reported that managing their money is easier when using cash compared to using card.

Graham Mott from Link said tough economic times has led to a rise in the sue of notes and cash: “[We are] making sure every high street has free cash access. Where the last machine closes, we replace it. We will keep doing this for as long as people need cash”.

The Post Office has also revealed that they saw the highest number of cash transactions on record between June and August, with many of its counters being used by those who prefer to use cash.

Increase In Retail Sales

Some positive news – retail sales have increased by 4.1% in August compared to last year, thanks to the booming self-care and beauty industry.

Whilst clothing and footwear saw smaller growth, this is still a great sign – especially for high-street stores who have suffered due to online shopping.

UK head of retail at KPMG Paul Martin said of the increase: “Health, beauty and food and drink were the strongest performing categories both on the high street and online, as consumers made the most of brief spells of sunshine to enjoy the summer holidays”.

Aldi have also reported that Supermarkets are seeing a boom in purchases of own-label products due to the cost-of-living-crisis, giving shoppers the opportunity to buy products they love at a cheaper price. They’ve also reported an increase in customers, with nearly a million more customers choosing to shop at Aldi in the past 12 months, with two thirds of UK households being Aldi customers.

That’s all for this month – remember to keep an eye out for any new as we move towards Autumn in the world of business and tax, and have a great October!