by Nick Antoniou, FCCA of NA Associates LLP, Chartered Certified Accountants.

With the UK entering a technical recession at the end of 2023 and a general election on the cards this year, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was under pressure to deliver a Spring Budget that demonstrated fiscal responsibility and generosity.
Dubbing the fiscal statement a ‘Budget for long-term growth”, Hunt focused his speech on delivering tax breaks, boosting investment, and tackling unfairness in the UK tax system.
In his Spring Budget speech, Jeremy Hunt said he had set out a plan to deliver long-term growth for the UK that will build a high-wage, high-skill economy with a path to more investment, more jobs, more productive public services, and lower taxes.
However, given the limited fiscal headroom shown through The Office of Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) economic report, the Chancellor’s plans for a pre-election Budget tax giveaway had to be somewhat reined in.
According to the OBR, the Chancellor had financial headroom of around £9bn (compared to £13bn in November), which the OBR said was “a tiny fraction of the risks around any forecast.”

Main announcements
Personal changes
The 2024 Spring Budget included support that was aimed at helping poorer families with the introduction of changes such as a lower personal tax burden, expanded Universal Credit with more generous work allowances, and frozen energy duty rates to curb rising fuel costs.
Additionally, the Budget provided targeted support through improved access to affordable childcare and an emergency fund for families in immediate financial distress, easing pressure on household budgets.
Here are the key measures:
National Insurance cut
Following a 2p cut in the Autumn Statement, the main rate of employee National Insurance will fall again by a further 2p from 10% to 8% in April.
Sole traders and people in business partnerships will also see a lower tax burden in April. Following a 1 percentage point cut in the Autumn Statement, the main rate of Class 4 NICs for the self-employed will fall by a further 2 percentage points from 8% to 6% from April.
Non-dom abolishment
Following calls to overhaul the “outdated” tax rules for non-UK domiciled individuals, Hunt announced that the non-dom regime will soon be replaced by a simpler system.
The new regime will give new arrivals access to a more generous scheme for the first four years they live in the UK. After that, non-doms will be required to pay taxes at the same rate as everyone else. This is expected to raise £2.7bn a year by 2028/29.
Child benefits
The Government also introduced changes to make the High-Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) fairer for single-income families.
Under the current rules, a household with one parent earning £50,000 or more will see a reduction in their child benefit entitlement, while a household with two parents earning £49,000 each will receive the full child benefit.
To even the playing field, HICBC will be administered on a household rather than an individual basis by April 2026, with a consultation in due course.
The change means basic rate taxpayers will no longer have to file self-assessment returns each year purely to pay the HICBC.
British ISA introduction
To channel more investment into UK equities, the UK ISA will allow individuals an additional £5,000 per year tax-free, on top of the existing ISA allowance (currently £20,000 per year) to invest in UK-focused assets.
Further encouraging a culture of saving by increasing the options open to individuals, the British Savings Bonds, delivered through National Savings and Investments, will offer a guaranteed interest rate fixed for three years.
Capital gains tax (CGT) changes
The higher rate of capital gains tax (CGT) on residential property will be cut from 28% to 24% from April 2024. According to Hunt, this move is set to generate revenue for the Treasury by firing up the housing market and encouraging more residential property disposals.
Abolishment of debt relief order
The most vulnerable families will receive targeted support through a £500m extension to the Household Support Fund for an extra six months to September 2024. Combined with the Government’s decision to scrap the £90 administration fee for Debt Relief, this will allow local authorities to better support low-income residents with the cost of essentials.
In an effort to help households struggling with problem debts, the maximum period for Universal Credit budgeting advances is also extending from 12 to 24 months. This measure will apply from December 2024.
Fuel duties
The main fuel duty rates will now remain frozen until March 2025 and the temporary 5p cut to the duty has also been extended.
Business changes
After the more comprehensive business support and tax cuts announced in the 2023 Autumn Statement, such as making the full expensing policy permanent, the 2024 Spring Budget was lighter on headline-making pro-business announcements.
VAT registration threshold
In a boost for small businesses, the VAT registration threshold will increase from £85,000 to £90,000 from 1 April 2024. This marks the first increase in seven years.
Furnished Holiday Lettings regime
In a move to make the property market fairer for renters, the Furnished Holiday Lettings (FHL) regime will be abolished from April 2025.
The change aims to increase long-term rental options for locals and raise tax receipts to help fund national insurance cuts. It is estimated that the change will raise around £300m from landlords who benefited from the furnished holiday lettings (FHL) scheme.
Investment and growth initiatives
The Spring Budget contained several measures focused on encouraging business investment and growth:
• Continuing work on the Mansion House reforms to the pension system.
• The Government will extend the Recovery Loan Scheme.
• In April, the first investment zones will launch in the North of England and the Midlands. These zones will offer tax breaks and planning liberalisations to attract business investment.
Investing in industries of the future
The Spring Budget reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to making the UK a global leader in science and innovation. Building on the £750m R&D package announced in the 2023 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor unveiled several new measures:
• £14m to boost the UK’s public sector research and innovation infrastructure.
• Establishing an HMRC expert advisory panel to improve the administration of R&D tax reliefs.
Specific industry impacts
Hunt also used the Budget to build on a wider Government strategy to support key sectors – including creative industries, advanced manufacturing, green industries, digital technology and AI, and life sciences – to drive economic growth and innovation.

NA Associates LLP is an independent firm of Chartered Certified Accountants operating from modern fully equipped offices using the latest in technology and up to date systems in order to help deliver the high standards of customer service demanded of a modern, dynamic organisation, with flexible working and maximum availability at the core of our practice philosophy. The firm offers an enviable range of services backed by technical expertise, normally associated with a major firm.
This article is intended is based on our understanding of the 2024 Spring Budget and does not constitute advice or a recommendation. Professional advice should be taken on your specific circumstances. You should not make any decisions based upon the contents of this article.
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