Following the Chancellor's Spring Budget announcement on 6 March 2024, Ronan Lowney, Tax Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, shares his top takeaways from his area of expertise:

"Whereas it was a "quiet" Budget by historic standards, there were some key takeaway points worthy of note. The item attracting most attention is the further reduction of national insurance by another 2%. This means an overall reduction of 4% this year, which is significant. It had been trailed in the days leading up to the Budget, but is still notable given the fiscal impact. For self-employed, Class 4 national insurance will be reduced to 6%. 

Away from the headlines, the abolition of multiple dwellings relief for SDLT will be of interest for legal practitioners and for residential property investors. Often this relief substantially reduced SDLT liabilities and was available for purchases of only two properties, whereas the generally lower non-residential rates would only apply on the acquisition of six residential properties. The impact can be quite significant for larger scale residential property investors acquiring larger scale developments where the average price would be at or below the national average for housing prices.

Of interest to the energy sector would be the extension of the energy profits levy, currently charged at 35%, to 2029 when it was previously due to expire in March 2028."