This week Chancellor Jeremy Hunt presented his Spring Budget Statement. In the lead up to the Budget, many experts were predicting what was supposed to be a relatively ‘dull’ Budget, with few surprises expected. And whilst it was a fairly basic Budget in terms of the number of announcements, the announcements were anything but dull.
What was also interesting about this Budget is that usually when it comes to Budget Statements, everything is maintained under strict lock and key, with anything in the press very much guesswork. This time however, it felt much more like some sort of hacking scandal with several of the announcements being leaked in advance by some sort of undercover insider.
Budget Statements are usually built around a theme. This year’s Budget was no different – how can the government encourage people to get back working, and working for longer. This has very much been a political issue recently, certainly with big and skilled earners looking to take early retirement. The question is, “will the incentives work?”
So what was announced?
With the pension lifetime allowance abolished and the tax free amount that can be contributed to pensions increased, there is a clear strategy to incentivise people to work for longer and to save more for their retirement. Likewise by including one and two-year olds under the free childcare system, it enables parents to return to work quicker.
It should be pointed out that the pension changes don’t just benefit those planning to retire in the near future, they can also be great for business owners looking to reduce their tax liabilities.
If you’re looking to purchase equipment and machinery, the announcements will also be of interest to you.
If you’re unsure of how the announcements effect you, or what actions you should take as a result, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.