+++Budget Live Blog+++
Jeremy Hunt has completed his hour-long budget statement. Here are the headlines…
- Hunt will abolish the lifetime allowance on pensions savings.
- Increase to pensions annual tax free allowance of 50% – from £40,000 to 60,000.
- New type of apprenticeship targeted at over 50s, to apply alongside “skills boot camps”.
- Enhancing DWP’s midlife MOT strategy – will reach 40,000 people instead of 8,000 at present.
- Universal Credit sanctions will be applied more rigorously to those on who fail to meet job search requirements.
- Doubling care relief threshold, giving £450 average tax cut to qualified carers.
- Universal support scheme to boost disabled employment – worth £4,000 per person and open to 50,000 when fully rolled out.
- £600 incentives for people who sign up for childminding.
- Hunt hopes all schools will offer wraparound care from 8am to 6pm by 2026.
- 30 hours of free childcare for every child over the age of 9 months – worth £6,000 per year on average. To be introduced in stages.
- 12 new investment zones, including at least one in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. £80 million in support to catalyse “new innovation clusters”.
- £400 million for new levelling up partnerships.
- Third round of levelling up find will provide £1 billion more to community projects and infrastructure.
- £8.8 billion funding over 5 years in next round of City Region transport settlements.
- Extra £200 million funding to fix potholes.
- Hunt commits to April corporation tax rise.
- Will introduce new policy of full capital expensing for next three years. Investments can be deducted from taxable profits – a tax cut worth £9 billion a year.
- £20 billion in support for development of carbon capture and storage.
- Nuclear power will be classed as environmentally sustainable – giving it access to the same investment incentives as renewables.
- Hunt announces the launch of Great British Nuclear to provide 25% of electricity by 2050.
- £5 billion in funding for defence. Will add £11 billion to defence over the next five years – to 2.25% GDP by 2025 and 2.5% when circumstances allow.
- £30 million to support the Office for Veterans Affairs.
Cost of Living
- Government will continue the £2,500 energy price cap for another three months.
- The cost of energy pre-payment meters will be brought into line with direct debit payments.
- £63 million fund to keep swimming pools afloat in wake of high energy costs.
- Duty on draft beer sold in pubs frozen.
- Fuel duty to remain frozen. 5p cut in the price of petrol will remain intact.
- “The UK will not enter a technical recession this year… we are following the plan, and the plan is working.”
- Inflation set to fall by more than half. From 10.7% in 2022 to 2.9% by the end of 2023.
- Government will have debt falling as a proportion of GDP year on year.
- Underlying debt in 5 years time to be 3% of GDP lower than forecast in Autumn.
- On track to reduce debt as % of GDP by 2028.
- OBR Growth forecast – 2023: -0.2%, 2024: 1.8%, 2025: 2.5%, 2026: 2.1%, 2027: 1.9%