MHA | Ten missed opportunities from the Spring Budget 2024

Ten missed opportunities from the Spring Budget 2024

Patrick King · March 7th 2024 · read

I Stock 484405511

Jeremy Hunt’s March 2024 Budget will no doubt go down as one of the most leaked and political budgets of recent memory.

Headlines were thin on the ground and with hindsight, the Budget was more memorable for what it didn’t include.

Here are ten missed opportunities for the Chancellor.

No cuts to income tax and no unfreezing of personal allowances. Hardly surprising given the associated costs we did think this could be the rabbit out of the hat that never materialised. Fiscal drag carries on. And it highlights another surprising omission – very little for the pensioner overall. This was not a ‘grey’ budget.

Before the Budget we made it clear that instead of tinkering with personal tax rates the Chancellor should go all out for growth by cutting the Corporation tax rate or at the very least signalling that it was his intention to do so in the future to encourage investment.

We also thought it likely there would have been an announcement on a ‘super deduction’ capital allowance providing greater than 100% tax relief, but specifically for energy efficient capital expenditure.

We were surprised that there was no announcement on, Stamp Duty Land Tax especially as it is so high at 15%. A give away on SDLT would have a cost a fraction of the NI reductions and would have been popular by making houses more affordable, but also good for the economy by giving a boost to the construction sector.

On the indirect tax side, we were amazed as was every luxury retailer was that there was no re-introduction of the tax-free shopping scheme for international tourists announced by the Chancellor’s boss in 2021. And again, we were surprised he chose not to reintroduce the reduced rate for hospitality and holiday businesses dropped in 2022. The very modest increase to the VAT threshold hardly compensates.

Again, it was a little surprising that there was no nod to changes on Inheritance Tax. Even a modest tinkering of the exemption band which was introduced 15 years ago would have proved popular with the media and a positive signal to maintaining the UK’s appeal to external investors.

For further guidance

For further guidance on any of the tax measures discussed in this article, please contact your usual MHA advisor or Contact Us

Read the latest Spring Budget commentary from MHA – visit our dedicated hub for resources, advice and practical guidance on what the new tax measures could mean for you.

Share this article
Related tags