The Bar responds to the spring declaration

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his Spring Statement to Parliament on Wednesday in what has been described as a “mini budget”. The Chancellor delivered welcome tax relief in several areas of the economy, although some have suggested the measures do not go far enough in the current economic climate.

Sunak’s announcements included:

  • The basic income tax rate will drop from 20% to 19% by 2024. This is the first cut in 16 years.
  • The 5% VAT rate is to be waived on energy efficient home improvements such as solar panels and heat pumps.
  • Fuel tax will be reduced by 5p a liter until March 2023
  • Professional rates for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be reduced by 50% up to £110,000.
  • From April, the Household Support Fund for local councils will be doubled to £1billion.
  • The National Insurance (NI) threshold will be raised from £3,000 to £12,750.

I. Stephanie Boyce, President of the Law Society of England and Wales, commented :

“We look forward to working with the UK government on proposals and reforms to unlock growth.

Legal services make a huge economic contribution to the UK and a healthy legal system is vital for individuals and businesses.

We are keen to engage with government on the plan to help design a tax system that works for legal services and allows us to continue to support people and businesses across the economy.

We also welcome plans to examine whether the current tax system – including the operation of the apprenticeship tax – does enough to incentivize companies to invest in the right kinds of training, an issue we have raised before.