UK Budget Announcement October 2021

On 27 October 2021, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, delivered his third Budget in conjunction with the Public Spending Review.

While the challenging context of this budget is understood, it is not supportive of creative freelancers in the way we had hoped. The pandemic has led to extremely challenging circumstances for many, exacerbated by years of irregular income and low fees. We want robust support for creative freelancers, supporting a strong exit from the pandemic’s challenges.

Within the budget there are a couple of points to note which are directly relevant for illustrators:

National Living Wage. There is an increase in the hourly rate for the National Living Wage, to £9.50 an hour. Illustrators do not work on hourly or day rates, but understanding the lowest legal limit can be a helpful sense check in some cases. You may also want to understand the Living Wage recommendations.

Personal Allowance. As previously announced in the March Budget, the personal allowance and higher rate threshold have been frozen at £12,570 and £50,270 until 2025/26. This means that you do not pay income tax on earnings up to £12,570

2022/ 2023. Looking ahead, for 2022/23, the self-employed will start paying National Insurance Contributions at £9,880 and pay 10.25% up to £50,270. The Upper Limit is frozen in line with the income tax higher rate threshold and the new 3.25% rate will apply to earnings or self-employed profits in excess of £50,270.

You can read commentary on the wider implications of the budget, for example in the Guardian, BBC, and Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert.

Illustration by Tanya Yakunova


5th November 2021
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