THE Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced his Autumn Statement earlier today (Thursday, November 17).

In it, Mr Hunt outlined measures to help plug an enormous budget gap - and it means an increased tax burden for most of us.

READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt announces tax hikes for millions.

Kelly Di Notaro was among experts to give their take on the announcement.

Ms Di Notaro, tax director at Albert Goodman, which has offices in Taunton and Weston-super-Mare, said: "While the Chancellor may have been careful to avoid the phrase tax rises in his budget, this budget was indeed full of stealth taxes that will by default increase the amount of tax that millions of us pay.

"Those who have investments may pay additional tax with the reductions in the exemption.

"Those who rely on investments for income may now need to seek advice on the best course of action to take.

"Pension planning will remain important as for now both the higher and additional rates of tax relief remain in place.

"The tax-free allowance on dividend income being dropped from £2,000 to £1,000 and subsequently to £500 does feel like a big blow to the SME sector, where business owners who take the biggest risks and employee PAYE staff have their income reduced.

"When this is combined with R&D changes, the ability of business owners to invest both in their business and in themselves is reduced.”

Meanwhile, a politician set to stand for the LibDems in Taunton at the next General Election, has taken a pop at the Conservative Government.

Gideon Amos accused the Government of “incompetence and chaos” after the Autumn Statement saw tax hikes and cuts to services for people in Taunton and Wellington, which come in the wake of the 'mini budget' which saw mortgage rates shoot up.

Mr Amos said: “This is the cost of chaos budget.

"Everyone is being forced to pay the price of this Conservative government’s incompetence.

“People in Taunton and Wellington are being asked to pick up the bill for the Conservative party crashing the economy, while oil and gas giants get off the hook.

"People here are being forced to suffer unfair tax hikes and cuts to our public services for years to come.

“We need a fair deal, including support for people unable to afford skyrocketing mortgage bills and rents, and protecting funding for local health services.

"This could be paid for by reversing tax cuts for banks and a proper windfall tax, instead of imposing years of stealth taxes on ordinary families.

"This is an out of touch Government back-pedalling to solve problems of its making and without a plan to help people here in Taunton and Wellington with bills the Conservatives themselves have forced up."


READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt raises national living wage.