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Budget2024: Property and personal tax changes, Natwest closer to private ownership and other key takeaways

  • 07/03/2024
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Budget2024: Property and personal tax changes, Natwest closer to private ownership and other key takeaways
Although yesterday’s Spring Budget announcement was light on policies directly aimed at helping first-time buyers or second-steppers, there were other measures that could encourage property transactions.

Elsewhere in the Spring Budget, personal tax changes were announced, as was the creation of a British ISA, intended to encourage investment in UK entities. 

Falling inflation: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now forecasts that inflation would fall to the Bank of England’s (BoE) two per cent target in a few months’ time. The markets now expect the bank rate to drop to 4.2 per cent by the end of the year. 

Property tax overhaul: Changes to property tax were announced, including the abolishment of the multiple dwellings relief and a four per cent reduction in capital gains tax (CGT). Hunt also unveiled that the holiday lettings tax regime would be scrapped, saying: “I am concerned that this tax regime is creating a distortion, meaning that there are not enough properties available for long-term rental by local people”. 

Investment in housing: Funding of more than £200m was announced to develop housing in London’s Canary Wharf and Barking, as well as additional funding for nutrient neutrality to encourage housebuilding. 

Ongoing fuel and alcohol duty freeze: The freezes on alcohol and fuel duty announced in the 2022 Spring Budget were extended for another 12 months. Hunt said this would bring inflation down faster and “save the average car driver £50 next year and bring total savings since the 5p cut was introduced to around £250”. 

SME support continues: The Recovery Loan Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses was extended to March 2026, with a plan to transition this into a Growth Guarantee Scheme. Some £300m in funding has been provided to extend the initiative, which is expected to support 11,000 firms. 

Child Benefit changes: Hunt said the government would address the “confusing and unfair” High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) system with a change in April 2026. Rather than withdrawing the support where one parent earns more than £50,000, the limit will be raised to £80,000. 

National Insurance cut: As trailed in the weeks before the Budget, Hunt confirmed a 2p reduction to the National Insurance obligation, adding: “We need a simpler, fairer tax system that makes work pay.” 

Non-dom tax status: The other personal tax change was a revision of the rules applied to non-domiciled (non-dom) individuals. Currently, non-doms do not have to pay tax in the UK on earnings made outside of the country, but from 6 April 2025, the same tax will be paid on foreign income and gains. Hunt said the system needed to be “fairer”. 

Invest in British businesses: The creation of a British ISA was announced to encourage people to invest and support businesses in the UK. This included a £5,000 top-up on the existing £20,000 annual ISA allowance. Hunt also announced a British Savings Bond from National Savings and Investments (NS&I) to support long-term saving. 

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