Our summer holidays are over, the kids are back at school, the weather forecasters say that we’re in for a mini heatwave, and we now hear that food prices have dropped for the first time in two years. Let’s enjoy October!
But how is it that Christmas cards, mince pies, and Quality Street are now piled high on the supermarket shelves? What is going on? Let’s enjoy what’s happening right now, which leads me nicely into the first item of this month’s article, as the Chancellor announces that the lowest paid will get a pay increase of up to £1,000 from next April.
Although we won’t get to know all the details until November, the Chancellor announced in his speech at the Tory party conference, that the government has accepted the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations that the National Living Wage should increase to over £11 an hour from April 2024, meaning that the annual earnings of a full-time worker on the National Living Wage will increase by over £1,000 next year.
There are currently more than 2 million people aged 23 and over who are eligible for the National Living Wage and are likely to benefit from the increase.
HMRC apologises for miscalculating student loan repayments
HMRC has revealed that around 16,000 taxpayers may have been overpaying their student loan due to a miscalculation in the repayments due.
The problem arises in a very specific set of circumstances and only affects employees who have received certain benefits in kind (BIKs) which have been processed through the payroll.
Specifically, affected taxpayers are those who meet all of the following criteria:
These taxpayers now have a choice between receiving a refund or leaving the overpaid amount in their student loan account, reducing the outstanding balance and any interest that may be due. HMRC has written to all affected student loan borrowers to apologise for the error and explain their options and what steps they need to take.
HMRC is working to fix the error and allow the relevant BIKs to be entered separately from total PAYE income on the Self Assessment return.
If you think that you may be affected you can find more information on GOV.UK
A Private Members’ Bill to help millions save more into their pension and start saving sooner has cleared Parliament and been granted Royal Assent. The Bill introduces powers to reduce the age for Automatic Enrolment from 22 to 18, and starts pension saving from the first pound earned.
These changes, along with changes to Defined Contribution pension schemes announced by the Chancellor in July, could see the average earner’s pension increase by nearly 50% if they save throughout their entire career, while a minimum wage earner could see their pension pot increase by over 85%.
However, these changes won’t happen just yet as the Department for Work and Pensions will be launching a consultation on implementing the new measures.