On Wednesday 6th March 2024 at 12.33, the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, commenced his Spring Budget 2024 speech. The speech was a rowdy affair within the Westminster chamber (and was stopped on multiple occasions), but many of the details were known ahead of the Chancellor’s announcement. The main focus circled around tax cuts for workers and families which clearly were at the heart of the budget.

The Chancellor announced a further reduction in the National Insurance Rates by 2p, taking the rate of National Insurance from 10% to 8% for employed workers and from 8% to 6% for self-employed workers. This is on top of the 2p reduction announced in the Autumn Budget and amounts to a total annual average saving of £900 for employed workers and £600 saving for self-employed workers.

MAYACHI COMMENT – The decrease in the National Insurance Rate should make it more attractive for people to return into the workforce. This can only be a good sign for the recruitment industry which is currently suffering from a candidate shortage.

The rates paid to nurseries to fund childcare hours for children over 9 months were secured for the next 2 years. There was also the announcement of an increase in the child benefit salary threshold from £50,000 to £60,000.

MAYACHI COMMENT – This announcement should allow a further 60,000 parents to return to work over the next 4 years which is a great opportunity to improve candidate numbers.

The approval of an NHS Productivity Plan was announced at a cost of £3.4bn. This sum would be spent on improving IT systems, introduction of AI, improvements to the NHS app, the introduction of an NHS Staff app and digitisation of patient records. There was also a further £2.5bn announced to reduce NHS waiting lists.

MAYACHI COMMENT – Although rolling out enhancements to improve productivity is nothing new in the NHS, it appears that this includes a large amount of investment behind it. This could lead to opportunities for agencies working within the IT, AI, and digital sectors to deliver this plan.

£160m was announced for two nuclear sites in Anglesey and South Gloucestershire, and £120m was allocated for green industries to develop offshore windfarms and carbon capture.

MAYACHI COMMENT – This investment will aid agencies who are providing engineers into the nuclear and green energy industries and provide additional placements to be filled.

£242m was announced to help build over 8,000 new homes in Barking Riverside and Canary Wharf to hopefully make this a “new hub for life science companies”.

MAYACHI COMMENT – This investment will be good news for agencies placing construction workers and those within the life science industry.

·       Alcohol and Fuel Duty Frozen for a further 12 months.
·       Introduction of Vaping Duty
·       Increase in Tobacco duty.

MAYACHI COMMENT – The freezing of the alcohol duty can only be good news for the Thursday night recruitment drinks!

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