With the government’s first budget set for 11 March, we wanted to take a look at some of the main measures that are expected to be included. Will the Conservatives adhere to the spending commitments made in their manifesto? Or will they do a u-turn on some? Here are a few of the key areas to look out for:
One of the main personal finance pledges in the Conservative’s manifesto was a tax cut for over 30 million workers by increasing the threshold for paying National Insurance. Workers who earn more than £12,600 a year can expect to save around £100 a year.
The Chancellor is expected to also announce changes to Treasury rules to enable higher levels of investment in the north and the Midlands. The new rules are expected to change the government’s policy of investment against gross value added, a policy that has traditionally benefited London and the south-east. New rules are expected to include improvements to well-being or a reduction in regional productivity gaps.
Another part of the Conservative manifesto included plans to increase spending on infrastructure by around £20bn above the current rate of expenditure. This additional funding may be made available to various projects across the country, with the key question being whether the government will go ahead with the first phase of the HS2 route between London and Birmingham.
The Prime Minister’s election campaign promised to bring an end to a decade of austerity by increasing spending on public spending. It’s hoped that the Chancellor will deliver on the Prime Minister’s promises, such as the training of thousands of new police officers, funding schools, vocational training and funding for new hospitals. Overall, the manifesto included £1.5bn in additional day-to-day spending so all eyes will be on Downing Street to see how this will be spent.
The government committed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, although there have been few spending-related measures announced to hit that target. We can, therefore, expect environmental spending to be included within the next budget. The manifesto mentioned plans to make homes more energy-efficient, with £9.2bn to be committed to insulation and other measures for schools and hospitals.
Offshore wind was another policy covered in the manifesto, increasing capacity to 40GW by 2030. £800m was committed to carbon capture and storage, alongside £500m to reduce the carbon output of energy-intensive industries.
Many spending commitments were made as part of the Conservative manifesto. It remains to be seen whether the government will make good on these promises on 11 March. In the meantime, if you have any questions about what we’ve discussed above, feel free to get in contact.