Jeremy Hunt’s first spring budget has been labelled as a “budget for growth”
The Government’s Energy Price Guarantee caps energy for households and is scheduled to rise from £2500 to £3000 on April 1.
But Hunt, to help with the cost of living crisis, has capped this at £2500 for another three months, ending in June — saving families £160 on top of the already existing support, which will cost £3 billion.
Families on prepayment metres will pay the same for energy than those on direct debit.
Households on prepayment metres typically pay higher rates to cover the extra costs for companies managing the metres. Under Mr Hunt’s plans, this premium will be scrapped, saving four million households £45 per year on their bills from July.
If the Government did not extend the Energy Price Guarantee, the typical household’s annual energy bill would leap from £2500 to £3280.
The government support is expected to be lowered to £2,100 in July 2023 — meaning the Government would be spending less on energy support throughout 2023.
Social housing landlords have been calling for more urgency in upgrading the UK’s draughty and ageing housing stock.
Spring Budget And The Housing Market
The Spring Budget suggested a massive push to get 6.6 million economically inactive people back into work, which will help the housing market as more people can move out of social housing and onto the open market.
How Could The Spring Budget Have Helped The Housing Market?
Excluding the Energy Bills Support, there is little mention of the housing market and ways to restore stability.
The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) have suggested that our Chancellor could be better utilising the Stamp Duty for our housing market by:
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- Introducing a Stamp Duty hike for overseas buyers to level the field for local buyers.
- Reduce Stamp Duty in areas of social deprivation to encourage investment.
- Provide pensioners looking to downsize with Stamp Duty relief, encouraging larger homes to become available for families.
- Provide tax incentives for landlords on energy-saving measures.
- Improve measures to make land banking unprofitable, encouraging developers to build on approved sites with hefty taxes on vacant plots.
- Ease planning regulations and make it easier for new homes to be built, there would be a significant increase in the support available for first-time buyers and housing supply — boosting the housing market.
- Providing tax incentives for builders and property investors would give a further impetus to produce more homes.
- The property market also calls for more support for EPC Ratings — The British Property Federation (BPF) warns that we won’t hit the 2050 net zero target if help isn’t provided.
- The Government should look to improve the energy efficiency of their homes by instructing a zero VAT rate on maintenance and repairs for properties — incentivising essential upgrades to improve energy efficiency for property owners and landlords. The British Property Federation suggests that over 50% of properties in England have an EPC rating of D or lower, with only a fifth having plans to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.