Martin Lewis issues verdict on what Spring Budget means for you

By Staff

Martin Lewis has posted his initial thoughts on the Spring Budget on social media today (March 6), as the Chancellor of the Exchequer reveals the government’s financial plans for the coming months. The Money Saving Expert has taken to X to inform and analyse the budget for his 2.7 million followers on the platform.

In an initial post, Martin said: “Just to say as normal during today’s #Budget2024 I will be trying to do instant #BudgetXplanations where I translate what he’s saying into plain speak. If you know anyone interested please suggest they follow.” His focus has been on practical consumer finance issues, including tax, LISAs and various benefits, and stated he wouldn’t be commenting on the public policy and macroeconomic announcements made by the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt.

The Chancellor said the Government was in a position to deliver “permanent tax cuts”, and billed his financial statement as a “Budget for long-term growth”. Jeremy Hunt said: “Because of the progress we’ve made, because we are delivering the Prime Minister’s economic priorities, we can now help families not just with temporary cost-of-living support, but with permanent cuts in taxation.”

READ MORE: DWP State Pension letter: The 6.7% rise you may not know you’re entitled to

However, Martin Lewis commented on this by saying “confirmation something is coming, but likely to leave until the end of the speech the details…”.

The chancellor then said inflation is forecast to fall below the 2 percent target in just a couple of months. Martin’s analysis here is: “So price rises predicted to slow (absolute prices will still be higher though – and unlikely ever to go back to where they were).”


Mr Hunt said he wanted to focus on people falling into debt, saying: “Nearly one million households on Universal Credit take out budgeting advance loans to pay for more expensive emergencies like boiler repairs or help getting a job. To help make such loans more affordable, I have today decided to increase the repayment period for new loans from 12 months to 24 months.” Martin describes this as a “welcome move”.

He clarified further: “Some saying ‘it just extends the debt’. It does if course. Yet this is an interest free emergency loan. The repayments are auto taken from UC payments. Many complain it doesn’t leave enough to live on, so the ability to spread it longer means more disposable income. And if people want to repay quicker they can. So I am supportive of this move.”

Debt relief orders of £90 are also being cancelled, which Martin celebrated as “GOOD NEWS”. He said: “Simplifying, these are a sort of easier form of bankruptcy for those with limited assets. The fact you have to pay for it has been a barrier to people who need help getting help. Very pleased to see the charge gone.”

The Household Support Fund, aimed at supporting vulnerable households with the cost of living will be extended a further six months beyond March, the Chancellor said. The Money Saving Expert also welcomed this, explaining: “This is money for local councils to help the most desperate and the cost of living crisis means sadly there’s high demand. Would’ve been awful to cut it off right now.”

While Martin didn’t comment on the continued alcohol duty freeze, he did criticise the Chancellor’s claim that “if I did nothing fuel duty would increase by 13% this month”. Martin said: “This is a fiction. He’s just saying ‘I’m keeping fuel duty where it is not raising it.’ The Chancellor decides fuel duty each time, the idea is its goes up if they don’t do something, but they always do something.”

ISAs and LISAs

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt also said he intends to reform the ISA system to encourage more people to invest in UK assets. He said: “After a consultation on its implementation, I will introduce a brand new British Isa which will allow an additional £5,000 annual investment for investments in UK equity with all the tax advantages of other Isas.”

Martin commented on this by warning that the rate of the new bond will have to be more than 5 percent to be worth it. He said: “British Saving Bond to come from NS&I new 3 year fix – the key is what is the rate – it will need to be over 5% to be worth it (unless allowing very large savings, over £85k which is when NS&I being state owned has an extra safety boon)”.

However, there was no changes to the Lifetime ISA penalty for first-time owners trying to buy a property over the £450,000 limit, Martin confirmed. He said he was “disappointed” by this, and explained: “As I’ve been campaigning on it, Chancellor told me just before the budget he said the reason he’s not doing it “I wanted to do a big home ownership package but that doesn’t work until property prices are definitely rising and I still have to keep an eye on overall borrowing.” He also told me “I want to do more than remove the penalty. I want to reform LISAs.””

Martin said: “I am of course disappointed there are no changes this time, but at least it is not off the table.”


Martin called Mr Hunt out over not detailing the rates being provided to childcare providers to deliver free – or “funded”, as Martin clarified – childcare for all children over nine months. The Money Saving Expert said: “doesn’t say the rates though, so we don’t know if it’ll be enough for childcare providers.”

At this point during the Chancellor’s speech, Martin said he was still hoping to hear for two things: “a) Increase in threshold for higher income charge from current £50k, b) Consultation on changing it to family income.”

Members of the public have responded to Martin’s tweets sharing their concern over whether benefits will rise next year. Martin said: “Some asking will benefits rise. We already know they’re going up by 6.7% in April, this will be welcome, though it does not catch up with the prior year inflation hikes.”

Martin added: “Phew I’m glad those theoretical 5% productivity rises will happen, that’ll get us out of the hole we’re in. Theoretical rises in a general election year predicting future years is always helpful.”

An excise duty on vaping was announced on vaping products from October 2026, as well as an increase on tobacco duty at the same time. Stamp duty relief for people who buy more than one property in the same transaction will be scrapped, the Chancellor added.

Martin also poked fun at the decision to reduce the higher rate of property capital gains tax by four percent, which Mr Hunt claimed would “bring in more revenue”, while joking ““That one really is for Angela [Rayner].” The Chancellor announced that the government will abolish the current tax status for non-doms, which has long been a Labour promise for funding should the opposition party get into power.

Mr Hunt said: “Overall abolishing non-dom status will raise £2.7 billion a year by the end of the forecast period, money the party opposite (Labour) planned to use for spending increases, but today a Conservative government makes a different choice. We use that revenue to help cut taxes on working families.”

Child benefits

The high-income child benefit charge threshold will be raised from £50,000 to £60,000 and the taper will extend up to £80,000, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said, which is one of the issues Martin has been campaigning for. The Chancellor said: “That means no one earning under £60,000 will pay the charge, taking 170,000 families out of paying it altogether. And because of the higher taper and threshold, nearly half a million families with children will save an average of around £1,300 next year.”

Martin said: “Chancellor tipped me off before budget, said this was due in large to MSE/my shows campaigning all based on all those of your who messaged me to say it was the key thing to put to him.”

The Money Saving Expert explained: “So 1) From this April threshold which hasn’t moved since 2013 rises from a single parent earning £50,000 to £60,000 and you lose child benefit totally at £80,000 (not £60,000). 2) Consultation on moving it to family income not individual income and hopefully that’ll be in place from April 2026 (this is to stop unfairness for single income/single parent) families.”

National Insurance

Lastly, Mr Hunt announced that National Insurance for workers will be cut by a further 2p – from 10 percent to 8 percent. The Chancellor said: “It means an additional £450 a year for the average employee or £350 for someone self-employed. When combined with the autumn reductions, it means 27 million employees will get an average tax cut of £900 a year and two million self-employed a tax cut averaging £650.”

Analysing this, Martin said: “National Insurance cut in April by 2% for working people and the self employed. So that is a tax cut for WORKING PEOPLE (not pensioners) by another name.”

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