Ask ITV News: How does the chancellor's mini-budget announcement affect me?

From how the government plans to fund social care, to what cuts to alcohol duty mean for small businesses, ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi answers your questions on the chancellor's mini budget

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced what's been described as the "biggest tax cutting event in half a century" on Friday.

His so called mini-budget includes plans to slash the top rate of income tax for the wealthiest in the country and remove the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

Do you agree with the tax cuts which have been announced? Are you concerned about how the government plans to fund them?

In the latest of the Ask ITV News series, we answer your questions on the chancellor's mini-budget announcement.

Question One: Samson; Manchester

"Back in August, the then Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said that middle income earners would need support paying their energy bills.

"How will the tax changes announced by the chancellor today help middle income earners cope with the rising cost of living?"

Chris Choi: Taking an above average income of £40,000 - just to help illustrate - the most immediate change will be on 6th November when National Insurance payments will go down, amounting to around £340 a year.

Then there's the broadest reaching element of this whole package, which is the cut in basic rate tax from 20p to 19p in the pound.

That should save Sampson £275 a year from the 6th April. So, that's over £617 less tax and more money in Sampson's pocket over the next 18 months or so.

Question Two: Samantha; Liverpool

"Following the cancelled National Insurance rise, how does the government now plan to fund social care?"

Chris Choi: The government is cancelling what was known as the Health and Social Care Levy.

This was introduced as a 1.25% rise in National Insurance contributions, which took effect in April.

This was expected to raise about £13 billion a year to fund health and social care. So, doesn't that leave a great thumping hole in funding those important services? Not according to the government, which has clearly stated "funding will be maintained at the same level as if the levy was in place".

So, when will people see that National Insurance cut in their pay? November for most employees is when you should see that reflected in your payroll.

For basic rate taxpayers it should be around £175 a year - £700 for higher rate tax payers. Higher rate kicks in at around £50,000 in earnings.

Question Three: Dave; Wolverhampton

"Regarding the investment zones the chancellor mentioned, it's great news for the West Midlands, the people of the Black Country and our local area.

"What I'd like to know is, what sort of confirmed points have we got for investment in the area?

"What will it mean for jobs, job numbers, growth, investment for young people in the area - because they're the ones who'll have to pay for this."

Chris Choi: The chancellor spoke today about investment zones - where the government says specific local areas will be targeted with measures that stimulate growth.

Which areas these will be hasn't been confirmed yet, but the government is said to be in talks with 38 local authorities in England - one of which is the West Midlands.

We don't yet have all the details, but businesses in investment zones can expect tax benefits, including rates and stamp duty relief on new and expanded premises.

There'll also be relaxation of planning regulations for housing and commercial development. We are still waiting though for the exact numbers on jobs and investment that Dave is hoping for.

The government said there are plans to work with devolved governments on similar initiatives in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Question Four: David; Norfolk

"As a small brewer we're particularly interested and welcome the cuts to alcohol duty.

"What in reality will that make a difference to in the bar - can we quantify that in pound, pence for a pint of beer or a gin and tonic?

"Just so we know we're supporting pubs with getting people into their businesses."

Chris Choi: Alcohol duty will be frozen from February 2023 - usually it increases in line with inflation.

So, what is the specific saving? It is 7p on a pint of beer, 4p on a pint of cider, 38p on a bottle of wine and £1.35 on a bottle of gin (or other spirits).

Whether prices will actually come down in pubs and restaurants isn't clear because so many of their other overheads are rising, such as staffing, energy and CO2.

In fact some pubs we've spoken to say if their prices had gone up in line with their rising costs - we'd be paying £15 a pint now. This is preventing what would have been a price rise next spring.

Question Five: John; Brighton

"How does today's budget help those in receipt of disability benefits or state pension increase their disposable income to deal with utility and food increases?"

Chris Choi: Many disability benefits are payable if you are working - and if people are in employment they could be helped by the tax and National Insurance changes.

But some people have criticised today's measures as a "budget for working people" and say there is little for pensioners, carers and others not in work.

There was a £150 cost of living payment for disabled people and other vulnerable groups, announced in May, with payments already starting. And there will be £300 extra for pensioners on Winter Fuel Payments.

Question Six: Chris, London

"I only completed my flat purchase in June - will this stamp duty announcement only be for first time buyers or will there be a window of time going back retrospectively for people who purchased recently?"

Chris Choi: This I'm afraid is like one of those quiz shows where they show you what you might have won - but you haven't.

The new situation for first time buyers is no stamp duty payable at all up to £425,000 (up until yesterday that figure was up to £300,000).

For other buyers you now pay no Stamp Duty up to £250,000. To give you an idea of savings on property above that threshold - on a £300,000 home you would now save £2,500 in Stamp Duty.

Sadly this tax becomes payable on completion and sadly for Chris it is not being backdated in any way - it starts from Friday, September 23.

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