CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement has delivered a New Year boost for millions.

He trimmed National Insurance, raised state pension payments and froze duties on booze and fuel.

But many will feel no better off.

The overall tax burden is on course for a post-war record, and prices in shops continue to rise.

To balance the books you will need to be your own Chancellor.

Harriet Cooke has six tips – to save you more than £15,000.



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SAVING: £3,256

A TWO percentage point reduction in National Insurance means a worker on the average salary of £35,000 will be £450 a year better off from January 6.

From April, self-employed workers will save an average £350.

But income tax thresholds are frozen until 2028.

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So millions more workers will pay tax on more of their earnings.

You can soften the blow by maxing out your tax relief.

If you earn less than £12,570, marriage allowance lets you transfer up to £1,260 of tax-free personal allowance to your spouse.

It’s worth up to £252 a year. Claim for this tax year and each one back to April 2019 to net £1,256.

Most parents qualify for up to £2,000 a year for each child under 12 to help with childcare costs.

Claim both childcare costs and marriage allowance at


SAVING: £312

PUB-goers can raise a glass to celebrate after alcohol duty was frozen until August 2024 – in a victory for The Sun’s Save Our Sups campaign.

But you could toast the changes for free.

Tesco Clubcard holders get discounts on drinks and food in nearly all BrewDog UK branches, with £1 off your bill for every 50 points spent.

For 300 points, you could enjoy a £6 pint (you’d probably get two for £6 outside the South East!).

Get a free spritz cocktail by downloading the All Bar One app, or a bottle of Rekorderlig cider with the Nicholson’s pub app.

Virgin Media and O2 customers can get two free drinks every Thursday at O’Neill’s, Ember Inns or Sizzling pubs in England and Wales from 5pm to 8pm via the Priority app.

By keeping a lookout for offers such as these, you could get a free drink each week and save around £312 a year.


SAVING: £4,114

INTEREST rates are likely to stay high for longer, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility said this week.

Andrew Montlake, of broker Coreco, says: “If you are on a fixed rate mortgage deal that’s coming to an end, you’re likely to face a payment shock.

“Don’t let your mortgage roll on to your lender’s standard rate. Speak to a professional mortgage adviser to find the best new deal.”

The average standard rate that borrowers will move to when a fixed deal ends is now 8.19 per cent, warns comparison site Moneyfacts

It means repayments of £14,115 per year on a £150,000 mortgage.

By switching to one of the lowest fixed rate deals, at around 4.5 per cent, that bill would drop to £10,001, saving £4,114.


SAVING: £3,996

SHRINKING the UK’s debt is a key target for the Chancellor.

To shift your own debt, see if you qualify for a balance transfer credit card with interest-free period or a low rate.

James Jones, of credit agency Experian, says: “It could help you pay off debt sooner.”

Barclaycard’s Platinum card has the longest zero per cent period on the market at 29 months.

If you move £5,000 of debt to it, you will save £3,996 if you qualify for the full interest-free window, compared to the average credit card rate of 34.5 per cent.

Check eligibility on MoneySavingExpert before you apply to prevent damaging your credit score.

You can also get help from debt charity step (0800 138 1111) or national (0808 808 4000).


SAVING: £200

DRIVERS spend an average £1,225 a year on fuel, reckons finance website NimbleFins.

Around a third of that goes on fuel duty, now on hold at 52.95p per litre until next March.

Do not pay more at the pumps than you have to.

By filling up at a supermarket instead of on the motorway you can save around £13 a go for a small car, based on the latest RAC fuel-tracker findings.

The app PetrolPrices helps you find cheaper fuel near you, and claims to save motorists more than £200 a year on petrol and diesel.


SAVING: £3,500

ADULTS on Universal Credit will receive an extra £470 from next April, while the state pension will rise by £900 a year, to £11,541.90.

Check what benefits you are entitled to using a calculator like the one at

OAPs may qualify for pension credit, which is worth an average £67 a week or £3,500 a year.

Some 880,000 households are eligible for this but fail to claim.

Pension credit also makes you eligible for a free TV licence and help with heating.

Michael Clarke, a benefits expert at charity Turn2Us, says: “A single pensioner getting by on less than £201.05 a week, or a couple with under £306.85 a week, could be eligible even if they’re homeowners with savings of up to £10,000.”

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