The Budget 2024: how might it affect your finances?

Will the 2024 Budget affect your finances – and if so, how so? In our latest article here on the ‘Knowledge Hub’ of our site, we focus on the 2024 Budget and what the changes may mean for you and your family. Read on…

What were the key points from Jeremy Hunt’s speech?

  • There has been a 2p cut to National Insurance
  • The Budget sees a new tax on vaping
  • An increase to the salary threshold for claiming child benefit is afoot.

How are first-time buyers affected by the 2024 Budget?

Building Societies Association (BSA) has publicly responded to the Budget announcement, saying the Chancellor has missed the opportunity to help first-time buyers, ‘by not removing unfair penalties and outdated rules’.

The BSA’s CEO, Robin Fieth, said: “We are extremely disappointed that the Chancellor has not taken the opportunity today to announce any support for first-time homebuyers. 

“Small changes to the Help To Buy ISAs (HTB ISA) and Lifetime ISAs (LISA) schemes, to ensure they remain relevant and continue to provide the support they intended to provide when they were launched could have gone some way to help.”

He goes on to say that, by failing to announce a reduction in the Lifetime ISA (LISA) withdrawal penalty, savers who open accounts in good faith will continue to be financially penalised if, for whatever reason, they cannot meet the specific requirements of the scheme.

“The Chancellor has also missed the opportunity to review the price thresholds on LISAs and HTB ISAs to reflect higher house prices, and to equalised price thresholds on the two schemes,” he adds.

What about people who are in debt?

As reiterated on LinkedIn by StepChange – a debt charity focused on helping people ‘take back control of their finances and their lives’ – the Chancellor has pledged to scrap Debt Relief Order (DRO) application fees. This is described by the charity as a ‘welcome move that will remove a real barrier to those seeking support with problem debt’.

Elsewhere, states the charity, ‘Changes to Universal Credit budgeting advances are also welcome, as increasing the repayment window from 12 to 24 months will improve affordability for people struggling to make ends meet’.

It wasn’t all good news, though, with the charity adding: ‘…while the Household Support Fund has been extended, such a short-term extension of only six months risks further uncertainty for households. It must be made permanent.’

At Unity Mutual, we recently conducted our own research into people’s financial worries across different age ranges. Amongst other revelations, the study concluded that Brits are worried about managing day-to-day costs during the current cost-of-living crisis, with over a third of people feeling stressed about not being financially prepared for an emergency – discover more here.

Are you a UK resident with a permanent home overseas?

The non-dom tax regime, for those UK residents whose permanent home is abroad, will be replaced with new rules. From April 2025, when the rules come into effect, people who move to the UK will not have to pay tax on money they earn overseas for the first four years – find out more via the link above.

Are there any changes to benefits and income support?

Yes, there are a few. Full child benefits will now be paid to households where the highest-earning parent earns up to £60,000; the current limit is £50,000. Meanwhile, partial child benefit will be paid where the highest earner earns up to £80,000.

There will also be a longer repayment period for people on benefits taking out emergency budgeting loans from the government.

Like many of our respondents in our recent survey (linked above), the news that a Government fund for people struggling with cost-of-living pressures will continue for another six months will be welcomed. Plus, the £90 admin fee to obtain a debt relief order (DRO), will be scrapped, which is also outlined (by StepChange) above.

If, in light of the 2024 Budget*, you’re keen to ensure your finances look healthier this year and beyond, why not view our range of financial products**? Have a question or two about any of our products? Do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team.

Until next time…

* Find the full Budget speech here

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