Will we have three Budgets in 2024?

2024 is set to be a huge year for UK politics, with the next General Election likely to be in the second half of this year and the intriguing possibility of three Budgets before Christmas!

We know is the UK Election has to be held before 28 January 2025, with Parliament dissolved 6 weeks before on 17 December. Going all the way to January 2025 seems unlikely and George Osborne, on his Political Currency podcast, says the date pencilled in by those on the know in Whitehall is Thursday 14 November. 

The Conservative Party Conference is being held in Birmingham this year between 29 September and 2 October. Six weeks and one day later is Thursday 14 November, the week after the US Presidential Election.

A UK election in November leaves time for both the forthcoming Budget on 6 March 2024 and a pre election Autumn Budget in September. Then if Labour wins the Election, they will almost certainly hold another Budget at the earliest possible date, maybe in December 2024, or very early 2025.

That leaves us with the prospect of three Budgets in the next twelve months and a massive amount of uncertainty over UK tax rates, making it very difficult for business to plan with any certainty.

I could go further….. because despite Labour’s huge 20 point opinion poll lead, they have a huge electoral mountain to climb. Even a landslide of the scale of the 1997 election, would probably only give them a small majority and maybe only a hung parliament. I hate to say it, but we could then end up with a second election later in 2025 to finally sort matters out (a bit like the Wilson government in 1974) and another election year in 2025 would mean multiple Budgets again.

Who knows how this will pan out, but the Dafferns team will be watching every step, ready to advise you and your business how to plan and navigate through the uncertainty. It’s going to be interesting.