Boring would be good in this week’s March 2023 Budget

After the turmoil of four Chancellors in four months in 2022, Jeremy Hunt steadied the ship and calmed the markets when he came to office in late October last year.

After the Kwarteng disaster under Mrs Truss’ short lived administration, significant tax increases were announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in the November 2022 Autumn Statement. 

Four months later, the outlook for the UK economy in 2023-24 is not quite as bad as was anticipated last year. However, public finances remain fragile and Mr Hunt has said this means he is unlikely to be able to make “significant” tax cuts at this time.

The Chancellor is however under pressure to help struggling households and businesses, so some new measures could be announced.

Help with household fuel costs?

Currently, the government is limiting the energy bill of a typical household to £2,500 a year and this is due to rise to £3,000 on 1 April. Budget “fuelled” by the sharp rise in wholesale energy prices in 2023, he could look to keep the Energy Price Guarantee at current levels for perhaps a further three months from April 2023. 

Help with Childcare costs?

The government has been talking about help to reduce childcare costs. Mr Hunt says he will look to help those on benefits with childcare costs, but the Government would not be able to help everyone and expanding support beyond those on universal credit would be expensive.

An extension to the Super-Deduction?

From 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets have been able to claim a 130% super-deduction capital allowance on qualifying plant and machinery investments or a 50% first-year allowance for qualifying special rate assets. This is due to end on 31 March 2023, so any extension of this would be welcomed by every company in the country.

The Dafferns team will be presenting our usual comprehensive Budget coverage, with reactions and insights on what the March 2023 Budget means for you, your family and your business.