April 10, 2024
In the wake of the UK Budget Spring 2024 announcement on 6 March, it’s time for law students to unpack the implications of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s fiscal plans. From national insurance adjustments to public service investments, understanding the national budget and the economy is vital for budding legal minds. Let’s delve into the key takeaways.

National Insurance Cuts

Jeremy Hunt’s announcement of a reduction in national insurance contributions from 10% to 8% marks a significant shift in the financial landscape. This cut not only affects individuals’ take-home pay but also has broader implications for tax planning and financial advice. With this adjustment, employees on an average salary will receive an extra £450 in their pay packet, combined with previous changes, totalling over £900 in savings.

Additionally, the reduction in the main rate of Class 4 NICs from 8% to 6% benefits around two million self-employed individuals, providing them with an average of £650 extra per year. These tax cuts aim to support working people and ease the financial burden on households.

Forecasted Growth and Inflation

Jeremy Hunt’s forecasts for economic growth and inflation provide valuable insights into the future trajectory of the UK economy. Despite modest growth projections, these forecasts indicate potential shifts in economic policies and regulatory frameworks.

The expectation of inflation falling below the government’s 2% target in just a few months is promising, with implications for monetary policy and consumer spending.

Moreover, the forecasted growth rates, including a 0.8% growth expected this year and 1.9% in 2025, highlight the government’s commitment to encouraging investment and supporting working families amidst economic challenges.

Government Borrowing and Public Services

The announcement of government borrowing levels and investments in public services sheds light on fiscal priorities and resource allocation. With underlying debt projected to be 91.7% of GDP in 2024-25, the government aims to maintain public spending levels above inflation, particularly in day-to-day public spending.

The commitment to increase military spending to 2.5% of GDP and invest in the NHS demonstrates a focus on national security and healthcare infrastructure.

Additionally, plans to prioritise applications for funding from departments that show potential long-term savings for the public purse underscore efforts to improve efficiency and productivity in the public sector.

NHS Reforms and Child Benefit Consultation

The proposed reforms and investments in the NHS signal a commitment to improving healthcare services and efficiency. With £2.5 billion in funding to reduce waiting lists and £3.4 billion allocated to achieve annual NHS productivity gains by 2028-29, the government aims to enhance everyday services and maternity care.

Moreover, plans to publish a landmark public sector productivity plan and consult on child benefit rules reflect efforts to modernise public services and ensure fairness in social welfare policies. These initiatives aim to address immediate healthcare needs while laying the groundwork for long-term sustainability and productivity in the public sector.

Taxation Reforms

Jeremy Hunt’s overhaul of tax systems, including the abolition of non-dom status and adjustments to property and vaping taxes, aims to simplify the tax system and promote fairness. The replacement of non-dom tax status with a residency-based system ensures that individuals with established ties to the UK contribute accordingly.

Moreover, reductions in property capital gains tax and reforms to vaping taxes align with the government’s broader economic objectives, fostering investment and innovation while ensuring fiscal responsibility. These taxation reforms aim to create a more transparent and equitable tax system, supporting economic growth and financial stability. The UK’s windfall tax on oil and gas companies has been extended in the budget.


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Investment Incentives and Green Initiatives

The introduction of investment incentives and clean energy initiatives underscores the government’s commitment to sustainable economic development and environmental conservation. With tax breaks and investment in high-growth industries, including the creative sector, the government aims to stimulate innovation and job creation.

Additionally, investments in clean energy technologies, such as offshore wind farms and carbon capture projects, align with environmental goals and contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy. These initiatives aim to attract investment, drive economic growth, and mitigate climate change, ensuring a more sustainable and resilient future for the UK.

Arts Funding and Other Measures

The allocation of resources to the creative industries and other measures highlights the government’s recognition of the socio-economic significance of cultural and artistic endeavours. With funding for the National Theatre, tax reliefs for independent films, and support for museums and galleries, the government aims to promote cultural diversity and artistic innovation.

Moreover, measures to support small and medium-sized businesses through tax cuts and growth initiatives contribute to economic resilience and entrepreneurship. These initiatives reflect the government’s commitment to fostering creativity, supporting businesses, and promoting economic prosperity across diverse sectors of the economy.


Jeremy Hunt’s budget announcement is seen as a strategic gamble aimed at revitalising Britain’s economy and bolstering Conservative prospects in the upcoming elections. While he refrained from implementing an anticipated cut to income tax, Hunt made significant moves such as slashing national insurance rates and abolishing the non-domiciled tax regime.

The introduction of a new Great British ISA and adjustments to child benefit thresholds underscored efforts to incentivise saving and support families. Additionally, freezing levies on alcohol and fuel, alongside the extension of the windfall tax on energy firms, addressed consumer concerns and ensured continued revenue streams for the government.

Surprising elements, like the rise in the VAT threshold and the commitment to maintain day-to-day public spending, added depth to Hunt’s budgetary strategy. However, notable omissions, including cuts to inheritance tax and stamp duty, raised questions among policymakers and the public. Nonetheless, Hunt’s budget sets the stage for robust economic debates and political maneuvering in the lead-up to the elections.


In conclusion, Jeremy Hunt’s budget announcement outlines significant reforms aimed at stimulating economic growth, supporting working families, and modernising public services. With tax cuts, investments in healthcare and green initiatives, and reforms to taxation and public spending, the government demonstrates a commitment to navigating economic challenges while fostering sustainability and fairness.

These measures set the stage for a more resilient and prosperous future, albeit amidst ongoing uncertainties and challenges.

By Mallika Singhal


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