Surprise – no surprises!

In past years, the annual Budget was shrouded in secrecy. No one was supposed to know what was in the Red Box that the Chancellor held up outside 11 Downing Street on his way to Parliament. There was an element of suspense. Now it seems that most of the proposals were predicted in the morning papers – the television pundits were reduced to speculating whether Jeremy Hunt would produce ‘a rabbit from his hat’, but it turned out that the hat only contained what was expected.

The further reduction in National Insurance Contributions, over and above cuts already announced in the Autumn Statement, is certainly a significant measure, reducing the Government’s projected income by £10 billion a year. A reduction in the rate of income tax would be more expensive to achieve, because it would affect all taxpayers, not just those in work – but maybe that is a rabbit for another day, closer to the General Election that must happen within a year.

Raising the threshold for the High Income Child Benefit Charge is welcome – a tax relief worth over half a billion pounds a year. The changes to the tax regime for foreign domiciled people will, by contrast, raise a little less than £3 billion a year from 2026/27. The Labour Party has been arguing for such a change for some time, and may have mixed feelings over being denied the opportunity to introduce it themselves.

Even though the Chancellor failed to spring any major surprises, there is as always a great deal of information in the documents that are released on the internet the moment he sits down. It is also possible to miss the impact of changes that were announced in previous statements and which are only now coming into effect. In this document we have summarised the latest proposals and their impact, and also included reminders of some of  those earlier announcements. If you would like to discuss what it all means for you, we willbe happy to help.

Significant points

  •  Personal tax rates and allowances on income continue to be frozen at current levels
  • Further cuts to National Insurance Contributions in addition to those announced in the
    Autumn Statement, to take effect in April 2024
  •  Increase in threshold for High Income Child Benefit Charge from £50,000 to £60,000
    for 2024/25
  •  Maximum rate of CGT on residential property cut from 28% to 24% from 6 April 2024
  •  Advantageous tax treatment of furnished holiday lets abolished from 6 April 2025
  •  Advantageous tax treatment of ‘non-doms’ abolished from April 2025 and replaced
    with a ‘residence-based’ system
  •  Increase in turnover threshold for VAT registration to £90,000 from 1 April 2024

Find more from our spring budget below:

The Spring Budget 2024 is here!