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Autumn Statement 2023: What it means for people living with cancer

Published: 22 November 2023

The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Autumn Statement to Parliament on Wednesday 22nd November. In this blog, we share some of the key announcements, including changes to Universal Credit and disability benefits, the state pension and National insurance rates.

Ciarán Norris Head of Campaigns & Public Affairs at Macmillan

Autumn Statement summary

The Autumn Statement is when the Chancellor of the Exchequer provides an update to parliament about the state of the UK economy, and the government’s plan for spending for the year.


The UK Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, presented his Autumn Statement for 2023 on Wednesday 22nd November.


Here is more information about some of the key points for people living with cancer from the Autumn Statement 2023. We will keep this blog updated if and when we have more information.

Changes to Universal Credit and disability benefits 

It was announced that all working age benefits, including Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment, will increase by 6.7% for 2024-25 from April 2024, in line with September’s inflation rate. 

This applies to UK Government administered benefits and social security, and not for benefits controlled by the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland and devolved benefits controlled by the Scottish Government.  

We have more information about Universal Credit and other benefits and financial support

Cuts to National Insurance

The National Insurance rate for employees is currently charged at 12% on earnings between £12,571 and £50,271, and 2% on anything above that. From the 6th of January 2023, this will reduce to 10%.   

Increase in state pension

The current state pension is £203.85 per week. This will increase by 8.5% to £221 per week from April 2023.

If you want to understand more about pensions and your options, we have information about pensions and cancer.

Changes to National Living Wage

The National Living Wage is currently £10.42 per hour for workers over the age of 23. It was announced in the Autumn Statement that this will rise by 10% to £11.44 per hour. 

There is a separate National Minimum Wage for people who are between 18 and 20 years old. This is currently £7.49 and will increase to £8.60.

Increase to Local Housing Allowance

The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates affect how much help people who are renting from private landlords get. This has been frozen since 2020, but it was announced in the Autumn Statement that this would increase to cover the lowest 30% of rents from April 2024. 

We have more information about help with rent payments.

Work Capability Assessment (WCA) gateway reform

The Work Capability Assessment is how the Government assess people’s capability to work and the support they receive for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and the health-related element of Universal Credit. The UK Government have set out changes to amend some of the functional activities and descriptors in the WCA, with implementation occurring from 2025. You can read more about the proposed changes here.  

Macmillan submitted evidence to a government consultation on the proposed changes earlier in the year, supported by evidence from our expert welfare rights advisers and work support advisers. Now the government has published more detailed plans we will look at the potential impact of the changes on people with cancer and will continue to raise any concerns we might have.

You can read Macmillan's response to the consultation here:

Macmillan submission WCA consultation (PDF)

Support for people with cancer who are worried about money

Help with money 

We know cancer can be tough on your finances. If you’re worried about money, there is support available. We have information about the cost of living crisis, as well as help with money and work.  

You can also speak to a Macmillan Financial Guide. They are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. To speak to someone: 


Help with how you’re feeling 

Worrying about money can affect your mental health. We’re here for you if you need emotional support.  
Read more about the emotional support that’s available if you’re worried about money


Visit the GOV.UK website for full details of the Autumn Statement 2023.


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