On March 16th, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the UK’s Spring Budget for 2023. However, before he did, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt made some key announcements of his own. Here’s a breakdown of what he had to say and what it could mean for you.
Hunt started off by addressing the issue of housing. He proposed a new scheme that would give first-time buyers a 20% discount on new homes, provided they commit to living in the property for at least five years. This is an attempt to make home ownership more affordable for young people struggling to get on the property ladder. The scheme would be funded by a 2% stamp duty surcharge on overseas buyers, who Hunt argues are driving up property prices.
Next up, Hunt talked about education. He proposed an increase in funding for further education, in order to provide more opportunities for young people who don’t want to go to university. This would include more apprenticeships, vocational training and work-based learning. He also suggested a “skills passport” which would allow individuals to take their qualifications and experience with them from job to job.
Finally, Hunt addressed healthcare. He proposed a new funding model for the NHS, which would involve the creation of a new “Healthcare Contributions” tax. This would be a separate tax from income tax and national insurance, and would be ring-fenced for the NHS. The aim is to provide stable, long-term funding for the NHS and to reduce the need for short-term cash injections.
Overall, Hunt’s proposals were well-received by many. The housing scheme in particular has been praised for its potential to help young people get on the property ladder. However, some have criticized the proposed healthcare tax, arguing that it could be difficult to implement and that it may not raise enough money to make a real difference.
Regardless of your opinion, it’s clear that the Spring Budget Announcement has some interesting and potentially significant proposals. Keep an eye on the news over the coming weeks and months to see how these proposals develop and what impact they could have on you.