Back to work
The government is introducing a Back to Work Plan, which includes investment of over £2.5 billion over the next five years. It will significantly expand available support and transform the way people interact with the benefits system. It has been designed:
- To support those who are long-term unemployed to find work.
- To ensure that those with long-term sickness and/or disabilities are better equipped to manage their conditions and participate in work, if they are able to do so.
As part of the Back to Work Plan, the government will invest over £1.3 billion over the next five years to help tackle long-term unemployment by establishing an end-to-end process that supports and incentivises unemployed Universal Credit claimants to find work. These policies, which include expanding Additional Jobcentre Support and strengthening Restart, build on previously announced changes.
The government will also strengthen the Universal Credit sanctions regime to enforce the government's expectation that those who can work must engage with the support available or lose their benefits. As a result, no claimant should reach their claimant review point at 18 months of unemployment in receipt of their full benefits if they have not taken every reasonable step to comply with Jobcentre support.
From April 2024, the government is increasing working age benefits in line with inflation by 6.7%. The government is also maintaining the Triple Lock and the basic State Pension, new State Pension and the Pension Credit standard minimum guarantee will be uprated by 8.5%.
Making Tax Digital
The government has announced the outcome of the review into the impact of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax Self Assessment (ITSA) on small businesses which includes maintaining the current MTD threshold at £30,000 and design changes to simplify and improve the system. These changes will take effect from April 2026. The government will also ensure taxpayers who join MTD from 6 April 2024 are subject to the government's new penalty regime for the late filing of tax returns and late payment of tax.