Key insights into the 2024 spring budget
The spring budget 2024 is set to shape the UK’s economic landscape. Understand pivotal tax changes and strategic policy updates crucial for your finances and business decisions. Explore our analysis for a straightforward take on what you need to know.
The Spring Budget, curated by the Office for Budget Responsibility, will delineate the government’s spending plans for the upcoming year. This document functions as the government’s financial roadmap, shaping the economic and fiscal outlook for the year ahead. However, the budget’s implications extend beyond mere numbers. It unveils the government’s priorities and the measures it plans to adopt to stimulate economic growth and manage public finances in preparation for the next budget.
This year, the budget carries a unique significance. For businesses that have been capping their turnover just below the VAT threshold to avoid registration, a potential reform may be on the horizon. This reform could be a game-changer, nudging businesses to expand and contribute to the UK’s economic growth.
The timing of the Spring Budget is not a mere coincidence. It strategically leverages the possibility of a general election in May 2024. This positioning could potentially shape the budget, with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt likely to introduce policies and tax cuts that please voters.
However, such voter-pleasing measures may not be permanent. Considering the significant debt challenges the country faces, there’s a chance these economic initiatives may be revisited or modified after the general election. This potential shift in policies underscores the need for businesses and individuals to stay abreast of the budget’s implications.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, a potential future prime minister, has emphasized his commitment to reducing personal tax burdens for UK citizens. The Budget is expected to incorporate numerous tax reduction measures and adjustments to thresholds, avoiding any changes to dividend and capital gains taxation.
In addition to reducing tax burdens, the Chancellor is keen on promoting traditional Conservative values, such as personal and business aspiration. This focus is expected to spur economic growth. To make room for tax cuts, a clampdown on tax avoidance is anticipated, including tight controls on trust reporting.
Within the Spring Budget 2024, the Chancellor is projected to reveal several tax reduction measures. Such cuts are designed to spur economic growth and alleviate tax burdens. One potential move is the reduction of the basic rate of income tax by another 2% to 18%.
The VAT registration threshold is another area under review. The current threshold of £85,000 has been constant since 2017/18, with plans to maintain it until the end of March 2026. However, this freeze has led to businesses capping their growth to stay below the registration limit, hindering economic expansion. A potential reform in the VAT threshold could therefore unlock significant economic potential.
Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a hot-button issue among Conservatives, with strong movements within the party to reduce or abolish what is seen as double taxation. This sentiment could potentially lead to an overhaul or total abolition of IHT.
While the abolition of IHT is rumoured to be a favourable policy leading up to an election, it’s worth noting that IHT currently impacts only 4% of estates. However, interim reforms to IHT reliefs and an increase in the Nil Rate Band may be considered as initial steps, with a long-term strategy to abolish IHT after the next General Election.
The government is under pressure to unfreeze income tax thresholds to prevent fiscal drag, which inadvertently increases tax receipts due to people being pushed into higher tax brackets. In response to this tax policy issue, a proposed cut in the basic rate of income tax to 18% is on the table.
Such a move would require a consultation on benefits reforms to enable the reduction, indicating a significant shift in the tax landscape. Adjustments might be made to specific tax thresholds, like raising the threshold for the High Income Child Benefit charge or increasing the basic rate band.
The freezing of the VAT threshold at £85,000 has led to economic inefficiencies. Businesses limiting their turnover to evade VAT registration is projected to escalate the lost turnover from £110 million to £350 million by the conclusion of the ongoing freeze period.
Increasing the VAT threshold is broadly acknowledged as a strategy that would promote economic growth. By incentivizing businesses to grow beyond the existing threshold, the government could tap into substantial economic opportunities.
The Spring Budget 2024 holds implications for personal finances, particularly emphasising support for families via childcare reforms. Commencing in April 2024, childcare reforms will provide parents with expanded free childcare sessions, offering relief to many families across the UK.
Further family support measures beyond the expanded childcare sessions are expected to be announced in the Spring Budget. These measures aim to address the financial pressure faced by families, providing much-needed assistance in the current economic climate.
Pension reform features prominently in the Spring Budget 2024. The suggested reform introduces a lifetime provider model, designed to amalgamate multiple small pension pots.
This model could simplify pension management for many, making it easier to keep track of their savings. The move towards a lifetime provider model marks a significant shift in pension management, with potential benefits for savers across the UK.
The Spring Budget 2024 contemplates enhancing the annual ISA saving limits to encourage saving among UK citizens. There is a proposal for an increase to the main £20,000 annual ISA saving limit.
This move towards higher ISA limits could encourage more people to save, while also supporting domestic markets. Proposals include reforming the ISA rules to favor investment in UK listed companies, signaling a move to support domestic markets.
The government is committed to aiding first time buyers. Potential new or revised schemes similar to the Help-to-Buy initiative are being considered for first time buyers.
Revisions to the Lifetime ISA could include increasing the property value cap above £450,000 and reconsidering the 25% withdrawal penalty for unqualified reasons. Another Stamp Duty holiday is also speculated, which could aid first-time homebuyers amid the cost of living crisis.
On examining the Spring Budget 2024 and the Autumn Statement, it evidently encompasses a spectrum of continuous reforms and fresh updates essential for invigorating investments, fostering business growth, and advancing regulations in the UK.
Investment Zones are gearing up, with 12 zones announced, including four regions in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The government anticipates launching a consultation on the UK Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and implementing it by 2027. These initiatives highlight the government’s commitment to fostering growth and addressing regulatory challenges.
Local councils face intense financial strain, endangering services for vulnerable demographics. The expected funding gap of £1.6 billion by 2024/25 is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by local governments.
Investments in council services like libraries and cultural activities bolster economic growth and social entrepreneurship. Therefore, there are calls for government commitment to sustainable council funding, recognizing the essential role of councils in implementing government agendas such as economic growth and net zero targets.
The Office for Budget Responsibility plans to release its most recent economic and fiscal forecast on the UK economy and public finances on March 6, 2024. This outlook will offer insight into:
However, the economic forecast isn’t entirely optimistic. Here are some key points to consider:
The share of taxes in relation to the UK economy could attain the highest sustained level since the 1940s, and borrowing levels are currently below OBR’s forecast, possibly due to lower than expected inflation impacting debt interest payments.
The Spring Budget 2024 presents an array of measures and reforms designed to stimulate economic growth, reduce tax burdens, and provide support for families and first-time home buyers. While the economic outlook suggests challenges ahead, the government’s proactive measures aim to navigate these hurdles and foster a resilient economy. As the details of the budget unfold, it’s clear that staying informed and understanding the implications is key to navigating the fiscal landscape in the year ahead.
In the Spring budget of 2024, it is expected that there will be cuts to income tax, with potential further reductions in national insurance or a 2p off income tax. This information was reported in The Times and The Telegraph.
The UK government spends the most money on social protection, which includes benefits for pensioners and working-age individuals, accounting for over a quarter of its total expenditure. This is followed by day-to-day spending on public services such as health, education, and defense.
The chancellor of the Exchequer prepares and pioneers the budget in Britain, submitting it to Parliament for approval. The budget statement is made in the House of Commons once a year.
The Spring Budget in the UK is scheduled for 6th March 2024. The announcement was made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt.
Some potential tax reforms and adjustments include reducing the basic rate of income tax, overhauling Inheritance Tax, and adjusting the VAT threshold. These changes could have significant implications for individuals and businesses.