Posted: Wed 6th Mar 2024

Budget 2024: Chancellor hands £1.6m to Theatr Clwyd to help fund multi million pound redevelopment

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his Spring Budget to the House of Commons on today, Wednesday 6 March.

During his address to MPs, in what will likely be the last Budget before a General Election, Mr Hunt said he was delivering a ‘Budget for Long Term Growth’ that sticks to the plan by delivering lower taxes, better public services, and more investment.

One local winner is Mold-based Theatr Clwyd, which is currently going through a multi-million-pound renovation.

Mr Hunt announced the UK government will contribute £1.6m to the project.

Theatr Clwyd said it was “grateful for the £1.6m from the UK Government for our major building redevelopment.”

“Alongside the key investment from Welsh Government, Arts Council Wales and Flintshire County Council, and our significant private fundraising from both Trusts & Foundations and individual philanthropy, this investment is a significant closing step in completing this vital project.”

“The redevelopment will ensure that Theatr Clwyd is a green, sustainable, world-class home for our communities, theatre-makers and future generations in North Wales and the north west of England – it will deliver increased economic and social value and maintain our crucial role in the cultural sector both in Wales and across the UK.”

The Chancellor also announced that the Wylfa nuclear site on Anglesey has been bought by the UK government in a £160 million deal with Hitachi, which also includes the Oldbury site in South Gloucestershire.

Mr Hunt has cut workers’ National Insurance by another 2p, meaning it falls from 10% to 8%.

He says the cut, to begin next month, is worth £450 a year for the average worker.

It follows another 2p cut announced in last year’s Autumn Statement – but there is no change to income tax.

New forecasts from the OBR say the government will collect 37.1p of every pound generated in the economy in 2028/29 – the highest level in 80 years.

Labour leader Keir Starmer called the Budget a “last desperate act” and says people are paying “more and more for less and less.”

Hunt also announces a six-month extension to the Household Support Fund, a freeze in alcohol duty, and an extension to the 5p cut in fuel duty.

He increases the VAT threshold for small businesses to £90,000 and announces new taxes on vapes and higher taxes for business-class flights.

He says he’s “abolishing” the “non-dom” tax system and will move the child benefit threshold from £50,000 to £60,000.

Budget Bullet Points:

Tax Adjustments and Reductions

  • Employee National Insurance cuts: The main rate drops from 10% to 8% in April, putting over £900 yearly back into the pockets of 27 million workers. The self-employed see a NIC reduction from 8% to 6%, saving them around £650 annually.
  • Income tax adjustments since last autumn add up to £20 billion, marking the lowest effective personal tax rate since 1975 and aiming to stimulate the workforce by the equivalent of 200,000 full-time positions.

Support for Families and Workers

  • Child Benefit changes: High Income Child Benefit Charge adjustments will mean an average £1,260 boost for half a million families, increasing the threshold to £60,000 and altering repayment rates.
  • Public Sector Productivity Plan: With an investment of £4.2 billion, this initiative targets technological advancements and administrative efficiency across public services, promising substantial productivity and financial savings.

Investments in Health and Innovation

  • NHS funding: An additional £2.5 billion for daily operations and £3.4 billion in capital investments over the forecast period, focusing on digital transformation and AI integration to enhance service delivery and operational efficiency.
  • Creative and high-growth sectors: Over £1 billion in tax reliefs for the creative industries and significant funding for life sciences, automotive, and aerospace projects, alongside a £120 million investment in the Green Industries Growth Accelerator.

Financial and Environmental Policy

  • Simplifying the tax system: Abolishing the ‘non-dom’ regime for a fairer tax structure from April 2025 and extending the Energy Profits Levy to encourage sustainable investment in energy security.
  • New vape duty and tobacco tax adjustments aim to balance public health concerns with the financial aspects of smoking cessation aids.

The budget reflects a strategic blend of tax cuts, public service investments, and policy adjustments designed to catalyze economic growth, enhance workforce participation, and ensure sustainable public finances.

With an eye on both immediate relief and long-term prosperity, the government positions the UK to navigate economic recovery and competitive positioning on the global stage.

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak criticized the budget as “a deeply cynical Budget,” arguing that it comes after years of economic failure and cuts to public services.

He emphasised the need for a comprehensive plan to raise wages and restore public services, rather than what he sees as short-term fixes and political maneuvers.

Mr Nowak also commented on the Chancellor’s action on non-doms, calling it too little too late, and highlighted the missed opportunity for significant revenue that could have supported essential public services.

(Photo Credit ©UK Parliament/Maria Unger)

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