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New Year, New Budget

Newsletter issue – February 2024

It might seem like only a few weeks ago that we had the Autumn Statement, but already we've had news in the early days of 2024 that the next Budget is on its way. And with that, a swirling mass of rumours about tax changes - particularly cuts, ahead of a General Election, which must be called by the end of this year. Earlier this month, the Government announced the Budget will be delivered by The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on 6 March 2024. That's quite a lot earlier than usual. Normally, we have a Spring Budget in the second or third week of May. Mr Hunt has commissioned the Office for Budget Responsibility to prepare an economic and fiscal forecast to be presented to Parliament alongside his Spring Budget.

Since news of the new Budget arrived, we've had plenty of speculation around what changes Mr Hunt may make. One of the main areas we've seen mentioned multiple times now is Inheritance Tax. It was talked about a lot before the Autumn Statement, though nothing came of it. It's one of those issues that seems to pop up before every major announcement by a Conservative Chancellor - with the proposal of a cut being popular among many of the party's grassroot supporters.

However, the more likely one to keep an eye on - particularly as a sweetener for voters being in Ministers' minds - is cuts to income tax. Is there room in the Budget for a reduction of some kind?

One of the many reports about this - from the Times - talks of 'a significant package of tax cuts' being considered, with a focus on Income Tax and National Insurance. We'll have to wait and see what happens but no doubt the rumour mill will continue to gather pace in the coming weeks.