Spring Budget – What Did We Learn?

The spring budget is much more than a battle of wits and words over beer tax and wine duty from our country’s ‘finest’ politicians. For businesses, budgetary changes can affect taxes and duties, most importantly, altering the bottom line at the end of the financial year.

Below is our breakdown of the recent spring budget.


  • Inflation set to fall to 0.2% this year
  • Unemployment rate set to fall to 5.3% this year (now at 5.7%)
  • Welfare bills set to be an average of £3 billion lower each year than estimated in the Autumn Statement
  • Treasury to sell at least a further £9 billion of Lloyds Bank shares in the coming year
  • Borrowing forecast for this year revised downwards to £90.2 billion, then £75.3 billion in 2015/16


  • Personal tax-free allowance is set to rise from £10,600 in 2015-16 to £10,800 2016-17 and then to £11,000 in 2017-18- cutting for 27 million people
  • Higher tax rate threshold will rise from £42,385 this year to £43,300 by 2017-18
  • From April, Corporation Tax for businesses making profit in excess of £300,000 will reduce to 20%
  • New criminal penalties for tax evasion (including advisers) • Annual Paper tax returns to be scrapped completely
  • Death of the tax return – Annual self-assessment return to be replaced by individual tax accounts
  • Transferable tax allowance for married couples at 10% of personal allowance to be £1,100 by 2017
  • To support five million people who are self-employed, Class 2 National Insurance Contributions to be abolished entirely from next year, and Class 4 contributions are to include a new benefit test
  • National Insurance Contributions (NIC) to be abolished for employing under 21s
  • Contractor Accountants and tax advisers working with contractors will be subject to new anti-avoidance legislation
  • Clampdown on Umbrella companies using travel & expenses to increase contractor take home pay to be detailed in the small print

Oil & Gas sector

  • £1.3bn tax breaks and support for North Sea oil and gas
  • Petroleum tax reduced from 50% to 35% and supplementary tax cut from 30% to 20%
  • Introduction of a new Investment Allowance Further reduction to the supplementary tax charge on oil and gas companies


  • Fuel duty will be frozen again for 2015
  • Beer duty cut by 1p
  • Cider and spirit duty cut by 2%
  • Wine duty frozen

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