Technology: Spring Budget 2024 Predictions & Wishlist

Significant announcements are usually reserved for the Autumn Budget, but with a general election coming up in 2024 will we see any big announcements from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt this March?

Read our Technology team’s predictions and wish list for the Spring Budget below.

Tax rates

With income tax thresholds still frozen there have been rumours of a 2% cut to the income tax rate, however the Chancellor has downplayed these rumours so we are not expecting to see any dramatic changes to income tax this time around. 

It would be great to see a similar cut to employer’s National Insurance contributions as we’ve seen introduced now for employee’s NICs as of January 2024. With increased focus on scaling up and creating more employment opportunities, a cut to employer’s NICs could encourage tech companies to take on new staff.

With the annual exempt amount for CGT already slashed to £3,000 for 2024/25, it remains hopeful that the rates of CGT will not increase and the current benefits of Business Asset Disposal Relief will remain in an attempt to incentivise tech SMEs to continue to set up and grow their businesses in the UK.

It is also rumoured that the VAT threshold might increase for the first time since 2017 from £85,000, in order to boost the economy by allowing SMEs to grow their businesses.


The new merged R&D scheme is still set to be introduced from April 2024, removing the separate SME and RDEC schemes, and there are calls for this new scheme to be postponed by a year given the short timescale for implementation, the rule changes already seen in 2023, and the focus of HMRC’s resource on combating fraud.

The National Audit Office recently reported that historic levels of R&D fraud are likely to be much higher than HMRC and HMT have previously calculated; it would therefore be prudent to expect further investment in dedicated HMRC resource to combat historic fraud given the material amounts at stake.

HMRC have taken an aggressive approach in the past year to combat suspected R&D fraud. In some cases companies have had to jump through more hoops to receive their tax credits or had the credits denied. We would like to see a commitment from the government to combat fraud in a more targeted way, without putting a barrier between tech businesses with genuine R&D claims and their much-needed tax credits.

Scale up superpower

The government intends to make the UK a science and technology superpower by 2030 and this year the focus is on scale ups.

Discussing the government’s desire to see more ‘homegrown scale-ups fuelled by home-grown funding’, the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, announced a pilot ‘support service’ scheme for science and tech focussed scale ups. We hope that if the Chancellor introduces any measures in the spring budget that he will give us more than buzzwords, and will include some substance on how tech scale-ups can achieve financial support in the short term.

Ms Donelan discussed one such way scale-ups could benefit which is through accessing government data as part of her ‘data-driven scale-up agenda’, fuelling faster growth in scale-ups by improving data access and use. We are interested to hear more detail surrounding this particularly from a data privacy and consent point of view.

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