What was in the 2024 Spring Budget?

A further cut to National Insurance was perhaps the headline announcement from Jeremy Hunt’s budget, likely to be his last as Rishi Sunak is widely expected to appoint a replacement if the Tories win at the polls later this year.

The budget comes as the UK emerges from a shallow ‘technical recession’ with the latest OBR report projecting GDP growth of 0.8% in 2024 (up slightly from 0.7% in November) and revising their inflation expectation to 2.2% in 2024. According to the OBR report, “This strengthens near-term growth prospects and should enable a faster recovery in living standards from last financial year’s record decline. But the medium-term economic outlook remains challenging.”* 

The chancellor has used the fiscal ‘headroom’ afforded by this marginally brighter outlook to make a further reduction to National Insurance.

In brief, the key announcements from this budget were:

  • National Insurance: The chancellor announced a further cut of 2 percentage points to National Insurance, this follows the cut previously announced in the Autumn 2023 Statement and introduced in January.This brings the total employee National Insurance saving to 4% since December 2023.The self-employed have also seen a further cut, with the National Insurance rate for Class 4 contributions cut from 9% to 6% in addition to the scrapping of class 2 contributions, announced in the Autumn.
  • British ISA: A new UK ISA was announced with an annual subscription allowance of £5,000. This will be in addition to the current £20,000 allowance. We are still waiting the detail on this proposals which will presumably follow a consultation period, due to run until June 2024.
  • Child benefit: Proposed reforms will see the point at which child benefit begins to be withdrawn increase from £50,000 to £60,000.


*OBR- Economic and fiscal outlook – March 2024 Sec 1.1

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