Your Spring Budget update – the key news from the chancellor’s statement

Jeremy Hoyland

Jeremy Hoyland

Chief Executive Officer

The 2024/25 tax year is just a month away, and chancellor Jeremy Hunt has delivered his 2024 Spring Budget, outlining the government’s plans for the next fiscal year and beyond.

With a general election looming – prime minister Rishi Sunak has said he will call it before the end of the year – the chancellor claimed that the government had met the prime minister’s three economic priorities laid out at the start of 2023, having:

  • Halved inflation, down from highs of 11% last year to 4% in January 2024
  • Kept debt falling in line with fiscal rules
  • Grown the economy, fully 1.5 percentage points higher than expected.

Amid this backdrop, the chancellor called this a “Budget for long-term growth”, with goals to “deliver more jobs, better public services, and lower taxes”.

Read on for a summary of some of the key measures and announcements from this year’s Spring Budget, and what they might mean for you.

National Insurance will be reduced by another 2%

Arguably the biggest announcement from the chancellor’s Budget this year is that the main rate of Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) will be reduced by a further 2%.

During the Autumn Statement in November 2023, the chancellor reduced the main National Insurance rate by two percentage points, falling from 12% to 10% from 6 January 2024.

Now, this main rate will fall a further two percentage points to 8%. Meanwhile, the main rate of Class 4 self-employed NICs will fall to 6%. Both changes will take place from 6 April 2024.

According to the OBR, an employed individual with average earnings of £35,400 will save £450 a year thanks to this cut, and £900 when including the previous cut in November 2023.

Furthermore, there will be no further requirement to pay Class 2 NICs from 6 April 2024, as outlined in the 2023 Autumn Statement.

However, offsetting these tax cuts is the news that the Income Tax Personal Allowance and tax bands will remain frozen until 2028.

As wage inflation increases, this could see many taxpayers pulled into a higher tax band over the next four years, an effect known as “fiscal drag”.

The High Income Child Benefit Charge will be reformed

Having been a contentious issue for some time, the chancellor confirmed reforms to the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

This tax taper effectively reduces the amount received from Child Benefit for those earning £50,000 or more. Those earning £60,000 or more must repay all Child Benefit or opt out from payments entirely.

Crucially, this rule only applies to one higher earner per household. So, a household with one person earning £55,000 and the other £10,000 would be affected by the charge, while two people each earning £49,000 would not be affected at all.

So, by April 2026, the government will introduce a household income charge, assessing both earners’ income against the threshold, rather than just an individual higher earner’s.

Furthermore, from 6 April 2024, the £50,000 threshold will be raised to £60,000, and the top taper to £80,000. According to the government, this will see half a million families gain an average of £1,260 in 2024/25.

The higher-rate Capital Gains Tax charge for residential property transactions will be reduced

To promote the housing market and encourage more property transactions, the chancellor announced a reduction in the higher rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for gains on residential property, excluding main residences.

Under the current rules, the standard higher CGT rate is 20%, with an additional 8% charged on residential property transactions. This will be reduced from 28% to 24% from 6 April 2024, encouraging landlords and second-home owners to sell their properties, with the aim of increasing the housing supply for first-time buyers in particular.

The 18% charge for gains made in the lower rate band will remain unchanged.

On top of this, the chancellor also abolished the Furnished Holiday Lettings (FHL) tax regime, removing an incentive for landlords to offer short-term holiday lets rather than long-term residential lets, and Multiple Dwellings Relief, a bulk purchase relief in the Stamp Duty regime.

Changes to how and where pension funds are invested

As part of the chancellor’s goal to channel more capital into UK equity markets, the government is working alongside The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on the “Value for Money” pensions framework to “ensure better value from defined contribution (DC) pensions, by judging performance on overall returns, not cost”.

This looks to address where pension schemes prioritise short-term cost savings at the expense of long-term outcomes, as well as where savers may be prevented from receiving value because of a scheme’s current scale.

The FCA and TPR will have full regulatory powers to close schemes from new employer entrants or wind them up entirely if the schemes are “consistently offering poor outcomes for savers”.

The government will also seek to work with the FCA to increase UK equity allocations in DC pensions, asking pension funds to publicly disclose where this money is invested. These requirements will also extend to Local Government Pension Scheme funds.

Furthermore, the chancellor confirmed the government’s commitment to exploring a lifetime provider model for DC pensions, previously referred to as the “pot for life” in the 2023 Autumn Statement.

This would give pension savers the right to choose the pension scheme that their employer pays into, rather than being auto-enrolled into a scheme chosen by the employer.

Investments in UK-focused assets will be encouraged with the new “UK ISA”

As well as expanding pension investments into British businesses, the chancellor intends to create a new UK ISA, offering an additional tax-efficient allowance of £5,000 for investment in UK-focused assets. This is another move that aims to channel more investment into UK equities.

This will be on top of the existing ISA allowance, which remains at £20,000 for the 2024/25 tax year.

Other key changes

Fuel and alcohol duty remain frozen

Fuel duty will remain frozen for another 12 months instead of increasing in line with inflation, and the 5p cut to fuel duty, originally set to expire on 23 March, has been extended for a further 12 months. Government figures claim that this tax cut will save an average car driver £50 in 2024/25.

Meanwhile, the alcohol duty freeze will be extended until February 2025, benefiting 38,000 pubs across the UK.

Tax rises will bolster the government’s coffers

While this Budget has seen many tax cuts, the chancellor also announced measures that will see certain taxes increase.

Firstly, the government is abolishing the current tax system for UK non-doms, and replacing it with a “simpler and fairer” residence-based system.

From 6 April 2025, anyone who has been resident in the UK for more than four years will pay UK tax on any foreign income and gains, provided they have been non-tax resident for the last 10 years. In 2028/29, this will raise £2.7 billion. There will be transitional arrangements for those who have already benefited from the previous system.

There will also be a new levy on vaping products from October 2026, raising £445 million in 2028/29. Meanwhile, to encourage vaping over smoking, tobacco duty will also increase in October 2026, raising a further £170 million in 2028/29.

Household support fund extended

There will be an extra £500 million to extend the Household Support Fund in England from April to September 2024. This fund provides support with essentials such as food and utilities to vulnerable households.

Full business expensing extended, and increased to VAT thresholds

After initially making full business expensing permanent in November 2023, the chancellor announced plans to extend this to leased assets, when fiscal conditions allow for it. Draft legislation is to follow.

Furthermore, the chancellor increased the VAT registration threshold for small businesses from £85,000 to £90,000, and the deregistration threshold from £83,000 to £88,000 from 1 April. These thresholds are frozen at these levels.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about how the Spring Budget will affect you and your finances, please get in touch.

All information is from the Spring Budget documents on this page.

The content of this Spring Budget summary is intended for general information purposes only. The content should not be relied upon in its entirety and shall not be deemed to be or constitute advice. 

While we believe this interpretation to be correct, it cannot be guaranteed and we cannot accept any responsibility for any action taken or refrained from being taken as a result of the information contained within this summary. Please obtain professional advice before entering into or altering any new arrangement.  

An external image of the Palace of Westminster in the evening
You are now leaving the HFMC Group of Companies websites
Skip to content