Highlights from the Budget speech

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has given his latest Budget and outline of spending. It is expected to be the last Budget speech before the next general election this year.

Hunt announced several measures across tax, housing and energy, and provided a summary of public debt, inflation and the economy.

Here are the key points at a glance:

The economy

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicts the UK economy will grow by 0.8% this year and 1.9% next year. This will follow with expected growth of 2% predicted for 2026, 1.8% in 2027 and 1.7% in 2028.

The Chancellor also revealed the UK's inflation rate forecast could fall below 2% target "in just a few months' time".

The debt forecast stands around 91.7% of GDP this year, rising to 92.8% next year.

Tax and benefits

National Insurance will see a further cut of 2p in the pound for employees and the self-employed.

The threshold upon which child benefit can be earned has increased, meaning it will be paid to highest-earning parent earns up to £60,000, from the current £50,000 and there will be partial child benefit paid where highest earner earns up to £80,000.

Longer repayment period for people on benefits taking out emergency budgeting loans from the government.

The threshold at which small businesses must register to pay VAT will be increased from April from £85,000 to £90,000.

Cigarettes and alcohol

The freeze on alcohol duty, which was due to end in August, has been extended until February 2025.

Existing tax on tobacco will also increase.

Transport, energy and housing

Fuel duty has be frozen again, as the 5p cut in fuel duty on petrol and diesel that was due to end later this month has been kept until 2025.

"Windfall" tax on the profits of energy firms, which had been scheduled to end in March 2028, extended until 2029.

Higher rate of tax paid on profits from selling property has been cut from 28% to 24% and tax breaks for owners of holiday let properties has been scrapped.

Richard Clapham

Richard Clapham


Tel: +44 (0) 1483 411531

Office: Godalming Office

Email: r.clapham@downslaw.co.uk