Key takeaways from the Budget

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Key takeaways from the Budget

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt promised to grow the economy, ease the pressure on family finances and help solve staff shortages in his first Budget, but how will the average person working in the travel industry benefit?

Here are the key takeaways:

For working parents

Working parents are to be offered up to 30 hours a week of free childcare for every child over the age of nine months, which matches that currently available for three- and four-year-olds.

However, the additional support will be phased in, very slowly, starting with 15 hours of free childcare for two-year-olds from April 2024, and 15 hours of free childcare for infants from nine months old in September 2024. Not until September 2025 will there be 30 hours of free childcare for all under-fives.

There was some good news though for working parents of older children as schools will also be given more money to provide wraparound care, so kids will be looked after from 8am to 6pm.

Mr Hunt said his aim was for all primary schools to offer wraparound care, with a target date of September 2026.

Parents on Universal Credit who are starting work or increasing their hours will receive their childcare costs upfront in future, rather than in arears, and the maximum payments will increase by about 50% to £951 for one child and £16,630 for two.

To try to address a shortage of childminders (and free more parents to return to work), incentive payments for £600 will be piloted from this autumn for those who sign up to the profession (£1,200 for those who join through an agency).

For the over 50s

One of the aims of the Budget was to encourage over 50s to remain in or return to work. As an incentive, the Chancellor has increased the tax-free amount you can put into your pension every year from £40,000 to £60,000, but this is only likely to affect the highest paid in the travel industry.

Mr Hunt has also removed the lifetime limit on pension contributions, but since this was at £1m, it’s unlikely to make a difference to many employees in the travel industry.

More relevant is the planned extension of the ‘midlife MOT’, to try to ensure people remain fit enough to work. It includes an enhanced digital MOT tool and and expansion of the Department for Work and Pension’s in person MOTs for over 50s on Universal Credit.

For disabled workers and those with long-term health issues

Reforms have been promised to help disabled people on benefits to start or return to work without fear of losing their financial support.

Mr Hunt also announced a £406m plan to tackle the major health causes keeping people out of work, with investment targeted at services for mental health, musculoskeletal conditions and cardiovascular disease, although there were no further details provided.

Help with bills

Good news, as expected, for those working from home as the Chancellor announced the Energy Price Guarantee will remain at £2,500 for the average household for the next three months. It was due to rise to £3,000 on 1 April.

For those who drive to work, the cancellation of the planned 11p rise in fuel duty will be welcomed, saving a typical driver £100 over the next 12 months.

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