Hopes of a “swifter and more sustained economic recovery”

1st April 2021

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered his second Budget on 3 March, which centred on a three-part plan to continue supporting people and businesses through the pandemic, to fix public finances once recovery is underway and to lay the foundations for the future economy.

The Chancellor opened his statement by revealing the latest predictions from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) which provide hope of “a swifter and more sustained economic recovery” than previously expected. The latest forecast predicts growth for the UK economy of 4% in 2021 and 7.3% in 2022. Mr Sunak also confirmed details of various COVID-19 support measures to bring total fiscal support to over £407bn.

From a taxation perspective, the Chancellor was left with little room for manoeuvre as the Conservative manifesto pledged not to lift Income Tax, National Insurance or VAT rates, so some key tax thresholds will be frozen. The Personal Allowance will rise with inflation in April as planned, to £12,570, before 20% Income Tax becomes payable, and the higher rate threshold, at which people start to pay tax at 40%, will rise to £50,270. However, both thresholds will then be frozen at these levels until April 2026. Similarly, tax thresholds for the pension Lifetime Allowance, Inheritance Tax and the annual exemption for Capital Gains Tax will remain until 2026.

Interestingly, a new NS&I retail ‘green savings bond’ will be launched later this year to fund renewable energy and clean transport projects.

Information within this article is based on our current understanding of the budget and can be subject to change in future. It does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. Some rules may vary in different parts of the UK; please ask for details.

We cannot assume legal liability for any errors or omissions it might contain. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from taxation are those currently applying or proposed and are subject to change; their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.