Building on his Autumn Statement that aimed to bring stability back to the UK economy, Chancellor Jeremy Huntʼs March Budget was focused on providing voters with a positive economic outlook ahead of the upcoming General Election in 2024/5.
While the Chancellor was keen to highlight the more positive economic situation and the avoidance of a technical recession, the speech was delivered against an economic backdrop that will still see real household disposable incomes fall over the next two years, with little room for manoeuvre in a tight fiscal position. Structured around his four Es (Everywhere, Enterprise, Employment, and Education), the speech was geared at delivering on the PMʼs key priorities for 2023, especially on halving inflation, growing the economy and reducing debt.
With few improvements to personal taxation (other than pensions reform for higher-income earners and measures on expanding free childcare), most of the key themes of the Budget were investment in science and technology, as well as supporting businesses across the UK.
Overall, the Budget statement focussed on highlighting the improvements to (admittedly very negative) economic forecasts, and that the Conservative Government was successfully leading the economy through challenging times. Unlike many of his Conservative predecessors, Hunt was keen to take the credit for the achievements of previous Tory Governments, and demonstrate the value of their time in office.
Find our deep dive on the budget here and if you'd like to discuss implications of this to your business, get in touch.
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