It’s that time of the year for the chancellor to share his thoughts and plans on the UK economy and make some changes to the UK finances. What will he put into place to help us as this cost-of-living crisis continues?
Every budget I like to watch the chancellor live and share in a simple summary the points that will effect you. Simple language that a lot easier to understand than complex government speak.
In summary, there wasn’t too much of substance to share or that we didn’t already know!
The energy price cap will remain at £2,500 until June. It was due to go up to £3,000, but energy wholesale prices have reduced and continue to do so, so we should see our energy prices fall back this year. Where we will see a difference is that the £400 energy support grant ends in March, this means the £67 credit we have been receiving on our energy bills will stop.
There are 4 million houses on prepayment meters, these charges will be brought in line with direct debit payments.
The 5p reduction in fuel duty from the previous budget will remain in place until March 2024.
Reducing Childcare Costs
The free childcare scheme for 3 to 4 years will be extended to age 9 months to 2 years olds. This means 30 hours of free childcare for 39 weeks per year. This is a very positive move from the government and part of their initiative to get more people back to work. Affordable childcare being a huge blocker for many families. This will be rolled out in a time tiered approach until 2025.
There will be a change to childcare support for those on universal credit. These costs will no longer have to be paid and claimed back, they will be paid upfront by the government and the £646 per child will rise by 50%.
More funding goes to childminder and childcare providers and the carer to child ratio increases. There will also be increases to funding of wrap around care for school age children.
Uncapped Pension Lifetime Allowance
Not one that is going to affect too many people, but the lifetime allowance for how much you can save tax free into your pension will rise from current £1.07 million to unlimited.
This could encourage higher paid doctors and consultants to return to the workforce (who had previously left due to adverse pensions conditions) to help tackle to rising waiting lists.
Help for business
12 investment zones have been announced, each to received £80m of funding to encourage small business with tax breaks. It is thought to help balance the corporation tax increases which remain in place from the previous budget.
Hope that you find my budget summaries simple and of use. A quick read!