Spring Budget: Chancellor unveils ‘budget for growth’ as UK escapes recession

15th March 2023 | Jack Oliver

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has unveiled the contents of his first Budget in the House of Commons today.

Among the announcements made, he confirmed that the Government is set to grant £200m to regeneration projects, and will commit over £400m to new levelling up partnerships in areas such as Redcar, Cleveland, and Blackburn.

A further £161m will be made available to mayoral combined authorities and Greater London.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Hunt said he believed the economy was “proving the doubters wrong”, citing an International Monetary Fund claim that the UK will not enter a recession in 2023, despite earlier forecasts. However, the economy is expected to shrink by 0.2%

Growth of 1.8% is predicted for next year, with 2.5% and 2.1% predicted growth for 2025 and 2026 respectively.

The Chancellor added that the Government would create 12 new investment zones, or as he put it; “12 potential Canary Wharfs”, each being offered tax breaks and other benefits of up to £80m of support over the next five years. There will be one of these zones in each of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Hunt said that a £63m fund would be invested into public leisure centres and pools in smaller towns in a bid to keep them afloat.

The Chancellor confirmed that the main rate of corporation tax, paid by companies on taxable profits over £250,000 will increase from 19% to 25% Companies with profits between £50,000 and £250,000 will pay between 19% and 25%

Pubs were another topic mentioned by Hunt, who said that draught relief for pubs would be 11 pence lower than in supermarkets, after alcohol duty was frozen for six months in December.


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