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Spring Budget 2024 – What FMs Need to Know

Spring Budget 2024 – What FMs Need to Know
07 March 2024

Jeremy Hunt has published HM Treasury’s Spring Budget for 2024 – let’s look at the main points concerning those working in facilities management.

Additional National Insurance tax cuts, funding for outdated public sector IT systems and a consultation on a new planning service for major commercial applications are just some of the announcements made at the 2024 Spring Budget on 6 March 2024.


Watch the Video



National Insurance Cuts


From April 6 2024, employees’ National Insurance will be cut by 2p, from 10 per cent to 8 per cent, with self-employed national insurance cut from 8 per cent to 6 per cent. This means an additional £450 a year for the average employee or £350 for someone self-employed.




The VAT registration threshold will be increased to £90,000 from 1 April 2024, meaning over 28,000 businesses will benefit from no longer being VAT registered. This is the first increase in seven years.


Funding for IT Infrastructure in the NHS


The NHS will receive an additional £3.4 billion to invest in new tech and digital transformation, including the NHS app, piloting new AI to halve form-filling times for doctors, rolling out universal electronic patient records, and over one hundred AI-fitted scanners so doctors can read MRI scans more accurately. The government predicts that this will help unlock £35 billion in productivity savings by 2030.


New Sites for Nuclear Power


The Chancellor also updated the nation on the UK’s plans to invest in nuclear energy, announcing that the government has reached an agreement on a £160 million deal with Hitachi to purchase two sites for nuclear expansion: Wylfa in Ynys Môn and Oldbury in South Gloucestershire.

Claire Coutinho, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net-Zero, commented that the deal would “help deliver the biggest expansion of nuclear power in 70 years” as well as “high-skilled jobs, alongside cleaner, cheaper power for households across the country”.


Reforms to the Planning System 


In 2023’s Autumn Statement, the government said that it planned to make it easier to invest in critical infrastructure projects by reforming the planning system to speed up approvals. In this Spring budget, Jeremy Hunt said that progress had been made, and the government will publish the findings of a consultation on a new accelerated planning service for major commercial applications. 


Reactions – “Not the Net-Zero Budget the Country Needed”


Whilst praising the cuts to National Insurance, Gillian Charlesworth, CEO of the Building Research Establishment (BRE), expressed disappointment in the lack of decarbonisation plans in the Spring Budget. She said: “….this was not the net-zero Budget the country needed. The UK urgently requires a clear, long-term plan to decarbonise our homes and buildings, and there is still a long way to go to drive the much-needed transition to clean heat. This plan needs to involve a raft of measures, from shifting levies from gas to electricity to encourage householders to install heat pumps, to providing guidance for local authorities so they can deliver retrofit programmes in each area of the country.

“Maintaining funding for our net zero commitments – including those related to the built environment – is crucial if we are to achieve our climate goals by 2050. It is disappointing to see that this detail was lacking from the Chancellor’s statement today.”


“For the facilities management sector, the next 6 months could be seismic as trajectories may change and political parties size up whether prioritising sustainability is a manifesto pledge worth making - and today’s budget says otherwise.” 

–Simon Harris

CEO, Avrenim


Mitakshi Sirsi, Director of Sustainability at architecture and design practice, WILL+Partners agreed that the Spring Budget should have gone further: ”The strides towards sustainability in the built environment in the Spring Budget are acceptable. While I would always push for more, the focus on enhancing support for energy efficiency and clean heat and expanding efforts for retrofit schemes are perhaps the ones to look out for and likely evolve into something substantial.”  

Simon Harris, CEO of FM provider Avrenim, also has mixed views: “The budget is a pivotal moment in shaping the country’s immediate future, and it could be the final fiscal statement before a change in government. Whether it’s decarbonising the NHS estate or investing in renewable energy sources to fuel our hospitals, while it was disappointing that no new green commitments were unveiled by the Chancellor, I do welcome the chancellor’s funding of the Public Sector Productivity plan, including the investment in AI, digitisation of processes and the NHS’ IT system.

“For the facilities management sector, the next 6 months could be seismic as trajectories may change and political parties size up whether prioritising sustainability is a manifesto pledge worth making - and today’s budget says otherwise.” 

Picture: a photograph of the "red box" used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 07 March 2024


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