The Spring Statement 2024

March 6, 2024
Jeremy Hunt

As the calendar turns to the 2024 Spring Statement, anticipation and speculation had been building, particularly with an eye towards the forthcoming general election. Jeremy Hunt, serving as the Chancellor of the Exchequer amidst a recent history of frequent changes in this position, delivered the news firsthand, offering insights into the financial direction and strategies the UK will pursue in the coming months. This statement is a pivotal annual event that outlines the nation’s economic standing and introduces fiscal policies and adjustments.

Quick Overview of Key Changes

  • Reduction in National Insurance by 2% for employees and the self-employed
  • Increase in the High Income Child Benefit threshold
  • Decrease in Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on property for higher rate taxpayers
  • Introduction of the "British ISA" to encourage investment in UK businesses
  • New regulatory measures for short-term holiday lets
  • Increase in the VAT threshold to £90,000
  • Reform of non-domiciled status regulations
  • Abolition of Stamp Duty relief for investors

National Insurance Adjustments

In a significant policy move, Chancellor Hunt has announced a 2% decrease in National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for both Class 1 (employees) and Class 4 (self-employed) categories. Effective from April 6, 2024, this reduction sets the Class 1 NIC rate at 8% for earnings above £12,570 and Class 4 NIC rate at 6% for the same earnings threshold, aiming to alleviate the financial burden on workers and promote economic activity.

Child Benefit Threshold Increase

The threshold for the High Income Child Benefit Charge is undergoing an adjustment, with the range moving from £50,000 - £60,000 up to £60,000 - £80,000. This change ensures that households within this bracket will retain their Child Benefit without the need for repayment, offering a financial reprieve to families navigating the complexities of child rearing.

Capital Gains Tax Reduction

Starting April 2024, the CGT on property for individuals within the higher tax bracket will be reduced from 28% to 24%. This measure is designed to stimulate property investment, though it leaves the rate for basic rate taxpayers unchanged at 18%, maintaining a distinction based on income levels.

The Introduction of the British ISA

The government is set to introduce a new investment vehicle known as the "British ISA," aimed at encouraging savings and investments in UK enterprises. While further details are pending, the initiative is poised to provide a boost to domestic economic growth through incentivized investment in local businesses.

Furnished Holiday Lets Regulation

A new policy will enforce stricter regulations on short-term holiday lets, including requirements for planning permission and a national registration. This crackdown targets the conversion of properties into holiday accommodations, addressing concerns related to local housing markets and community integrity.

VAT Threshold Increase

The VAT registration threshold is set to rise from £85,000 to £90,000, effective from the 2024/25 tax year. This increase aims to support sole traders and small businesses by easing the VAT burden, allowing for greater financial flexibility and growth potential.

Non-domiciled Status Reform

In a move toward tax fairness, the government is reforming the non-domiciled status, limiting the tax exemption on foreign income to the initial four years of UK residence. This policy shift is targeted at ensuring a more equitable tax system, particularly for wealthy foreign residents.

Stamp Duty Relief Abolition

The Multiple Dwellings Relief, which has offered a Stamp Duty break for investors purchasing multiple properties, is being abolished. This measure seeks to prevent speculative investment activities and encourage a more balanced approach to property investment.

As these changes take effect, they represent a comprehensive approach to fiscal policy and economic reform. Understanding the details and implications of these adjustments is crucial for navigating the evolving financial landscape in the UK.

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