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The Somerset Guardian, 13th March 2024

The last few years have not been easy for the British economy. We have endured the legacy of Covid including the £400 billion of emergency support and experienced the ramifications of the invasion in Ukraine. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is aware of these challenges, which have been reflected in the most recent Spring Budget.

Last week, Jeremy Hunt announced a package of measures, which included lowering taxation with the employee main rate of National Insurance contributions (NICs) to be cut by 2p from 10% to 8%. Combined with the 2p cut announced at Autumn Statement 2023, this means that a £35,400 earner will receive a tax cut of over £900 per year.

The main rate of self-employed NICs will also be cut by a further 2p on top of the 1p cut announced at Autumn Statement 2023. In tandem with the abolition of the requirement to pay Class 2 NICs, this will save a self-employed person on £28,000 around £650 a year.

The Chancellor has also committed to removing the unfairness of the High Income Benefit Charge system towards single-earner families and will move to a system based on household rather than individual incomes. In the meantime, from April 2024, the threshold for the High Income Child Benefit Charge will be raised to remove 170,000 families from paying this tax charge. The rate will also be halved so that Child Benefit is not repaid in full until £80,000 is earned.

Additional measures include: a further £500 million to enable the extension of the Household Support Fund in England from April to September 2024; freezing fuel duty at the current levels for a further twelve months and extending the alcohol duty freeze from 1 August 2024 until 1 February 2025.

Spring Budget 2024 is a Budget for aspiration. The Government will boost housing supply and help first time buyers, ensure that public service standards are raised and work hard to rejuvenate the economy to let Britain prosper under its own auspices once more.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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