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How Will The Autumn Statement Affect Students?

Ellen Knight November 24, 2022

On 18 November Jeremy Hunt – the Chancellor of the Exchequer – announced big plans for the economy. But how will the autumn statement affect students?

This is an update from the government on the state of the economy and includes future plans for the country’s finances.

Broadly speaking, last week’s statement will make an impact on how we budget for our households, and the tax measures will affect the amount of actual take-home pay we get.

But more specifically, how will the autumn statement affect those students currently at university?

Related: Are Students Eligible For The £400 Energy Discount?

Photo by Nadine Marfurt on Unsplash

Fuel bills

According to the current energy price guarantee, the average household will be paying in the region of £2,500 in fuel bills per year.

This began in October 2022, and was expected to last for two years – the government then announced this guarantee would end in April 2023.

However, in Mr Hunt’s announcement, he said that it will now carry on, with the energy price cap rising by a further £500 to £3,000.

Without this, analytical firm Cornwall Insight has predicted that the average costs would have risen to nearly £4,000.

Minimum wage

The minimum wage for over-23s is set to rise from £9.50 an hour to £10.42 from April 2023.

The full list of changes to the minimum wage is as follows:

  • National Living Wage for over-23s: £9.50 to £10.42
  • National Minimum Wage for 21-22: £9.18 to £10.18
  • National Minimum Wage for 18-20: £6.83 to £7.49
  • National Minimum Wage for under-18s: £4.81 to £5.28

With inflation currently running at 10.1%, though, this pay increase could end up feeling like a real-terms pay cut unless inflation is brought under control.

Benefits

Mr Hunt confirmed that benefits and the state pension will increase in line with inflation in April.

This is around £600 per year for the average family on universal credit, and for those on the state pension it’s an extra £870 a year.

However, housing benefit is still frozen at 2020 levels. The BBC’s Hannah Miller has noted that this will cause ‘a problem for those in privately rented accommodation, as their rental costs soar.’

She continued: ‘The chancellor has given a record boost to benefits and the state pension, but many won’t really feel they’re better off.’

Read next: Do Students Need A TV Licence At University?

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Ellen is a freelance journalist studying MA Broadcast Journalism at Cardiff University. Her work has appeared in publications such as Teen Vogue and Al Jazeera, and tends to focus on politics and current affairs. Her involvement in student radio station Burn FM lead to an interview she conducted winning Student Radio Moment of the Year in 2022. She has been writing for Freshered since February 2022. You can follow her on Twitter @ellenmjknight