Spring Budget 2024

On March 6th, Jeremy Hunt gave his final Spring Budget prior to the next general election. The headline grabbing announcement within the Budget was a 2p cut to National Insurance, but there were still several relevant policy announcements for NHC members.

Members will have received a full on-the-day briefing in their inboxes, breaking down all the Chancellor’s announcements in detail. This can be accessed here, while some of the major announcements are outlined below.



One of the most noteworthy announcements in the Budget was that the government has agreed a new Level 4 deeper devolution agreement with the seven local authorities that will form the North East Mayoral Combined Authority. This new agreement will devolve further powers and funding to the North East region, including greater local influence over the Affordable Homes Programme and additional planning powers for the Mayor to be elected on 2nd May.

Additional details were also announced as to how Greater Manchester Combined Authority will progress towards receiving a departmental-style funding settlement in the future.

This came just days after further announcements that Liverpool City Region, and South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authorities will also be signing new deeper devolution agreements, with additional powers and funding going to each of these areas.


Levelling Up and Pride in Place

The Budget included an expansion of the 10-year Long-Term Plan for Towns programme, to cover another 20 towns, including Darlington and Bradford. Each town within the programme will receive £20 million in endowment-style funding and be required to establish a Towns Board which brings together local stakeholders to plan how the funds will be used.

There was also a further £100 million of funding announced for cultural projects, including the British Library North in Leeds, the National Railway Museum in York and National Museums Liverpool – welcome investments in culture-led regeneration.


Right to Buy receipts

There have also been two significant changes to how local authorities can use the funds raised from Right to Buy sales going forward. Firstly, the ability of local authorities to keep 100% of receipts, introduced in 2023 for two years, has been ended. Secondly, the proportion of a new home that can be funded through Right to Buy receipts was increased from 40% to 50%.


Housing tax changes

The Chancellor also announced several tax changes relating to housing in his Budget. Firstly, the Chancellor chose to abolish the Furnished Holiday Lettings tax regime, which gave short term holiday lets preferential tax treatment. This follows criticism that this tax advantage was having an adverse impact on the supply of properties available for long-term rent. Secondly, the higher rate of Capital Gains Tax for residential property disposals will be cut from 28% to 24% from the 6th April 2024. Social landlords will also see changes to property taxation, with the introduction of a new exemption from Stamp Duty for Registered Social Landlords when purchasing a property using public subsidy.


Housing investments

While the Budget did not make any mention of the Affordable Homes Programme, there were some smaller spending announcements for the housing sector. First among these was £20 million of social finance to support community housebuilding initiatives over ten years. The Budget also included an additional £3 million, matching industry-led funding, to increase capacity in local planning departments in the next Spending Review period.


Overall, while the Budget did have some welcome announcements, especially devolving greater power and funding to the North, it represents another missed opportunity by government to deliver the investment and real change that our communities need. For the Chancellor to truly make a difference for the North’s housing sector, we need to see an ambitious future Affordable Homes Programme, funding to ensure that the North’s housing meets an improved Decent Homes Standard, and a long-term investment in housing decarbonisation. You can read the NHC’s Spring Budget representation here, which contains details on these asks.