15 Mar 2023
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will present the 2023 Spring Budget today. We will keep you up to date on the key Spring Budget announcements and supply a summary, which will appear on our website.
The Spring Budget comes on the back of the recent publication of economic data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that showed that the UK economy grew by 0.3% in January 2023 after shrinking by 0.5% in December 2022. Commenting on the figures, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that 'confidence is returning' and that the economy is 'better than people had feared'. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will today outline its independent analysis of the UK's public finances.
Business groups, including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), called for the Chancellor to continue to assist businesses with their energy bills. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) declared energy to be one of its 'non-negotiable' goals in its Spring Budget wishlist.
Ahead of the Chancellor's Budget speech, the government announced it will extend the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) at its current level of £2,500 for a further three months until the end of June. However, the £400 winter fuel payment will not be renewed.
The Chancellor has also faced calls from backbench MPs and business groups to cut the costs of childcare in the Spring Budget, helping to support families. Reports have emerged that suggest that the government is considering an expansion of free childcare schemes to those with one and two-year-olds in England.
April will see corporation tax rise from its current level of 19% to 25%, netting £18 billion per year for the Treasury. Debate has been sparked amongst business leaders as to the government's commitment to ease cost pressures on UK businesses, and the planned rise in corporation tax has only added fuel to the fire. Critics of the rise argue that cutting corporation tax helps to stimulate growth and investment.
Meanwhile, recent reports indicate that the Chancellor is set to increase the pensions lifetime allowance, allowing individuals to accumulate more in pension savings before paying extra tax. Experts have stated that the move will allow people to save up to £1.8 million over a lifetime, up from the current figure of £1.07 million.