Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has delivered his first Spring Budget in a statement in the House of Commons. With the iconic red briefcase in tow, he outlined the nation’s finances including tax, rates and what the government intends to spend.
Big decisions have been made on health, schools and a number of other public services. This includes the extension of the Energy Price Guarantee, which puts a £2,500 cap on energy bill spending until June to help “bridge the gap and ease pressure on families”.
It comes at a vital time in UK politics as struggling households fend off a financially crippling cost of living crisis that has seen energy bills skyrocket and inflation reach a 40-year high. Strike action is rife as workers seek the further support they so desperately need.
Other announcements include freezing not just fuel duty for UK motorists but also on duty for draft products at pubs. The Chancellor also revealed the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that inflation will come down from 10.7% last year to 2.9% by the end of the year.
Not all of the announcements will have an effect across the UK because devolution exists in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland..
If the UK government awards a sum of money that only affects England, according to the Barnett formula the other nations will receive an equivalent amount to spend as they choose.
But what are the major announcements from the budget and who does it affect? Here is everything you must know
Spring Budget 2023 key announcements
- Freezing the Energy Price Guarantee - £2,500 cap on energy bills extending for three months until June 2023
- End of premiums on pre-payment metres - People paying their energy bills through pre-payment metres will soon pay the same as those on direct debits
- Freezing fuel duty - 5p fuel duty maintained and frozen for 12 months expected to save UK motorists £100 this year
- Freezing duty on pints - 11p lower costs for pubs from August 2023
- Support for leisure centres and swimming pools: £63 million awarded to keep community leisure centres and swimming pools afloat amid soaring energy costs
- Increase in the potholes fund - extra £200 million awarded to improve the country’s road network
- 12 new UK investment zones - West Midlands, Greater Manchester, the North East, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Midlands, Teesside, Liverpool, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Pension Lifetime Allowance abolished - Mr. Hunt also announced his decision to abolish the Lifetime Allowance which was previously set at £1.07m.
- Childcare system reform - 30 hours of free childcare for every school child under the age of five, £600 incentive scheme to get more childminders