On Wednesday 6 March, the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his Budget statement.  A summary of some of the announcements most likely to affect the Buckinghamshire economy are outlined below.


Cuts to National Insurance and the raising of child benefit thresholds are predicted to encourage more people into work.  This will be welcome news for Buckinghamshire employers who have experienced significant recruitment difficulties over recent years.

Small businesses 

Increasing the VAT threshold from £85,000 to £90,000 from April 2024 will help SMEs to grow and invest.  This announcement has been welcomed by business representative organisations, although many had lobbied for the threshold to be higher.

The Covid-era Recovery Loan Scheme has been renamed as the Growth Guarantee Scheme and has been extended until the end of March 2026.  Again, this has been welcomed by business representative organisations.

Film and TV 

Eligible film studios in England will receive a 40% reduction on gross business rates bills until 2034, and there will be additional tax relief for visual effects costs in film and high-end TV.


Confirmation of up to £100 million to launch the national component of the full £160 million Connectivity in Low Earth Orbit (CLEO) programme, which will enable UK researchers and businesses to perform the research and development needed for the next generation of satellite constellations.


Announcement of a £7.4 million AI Upskilling Fund pilot that will help SMEs develop the AI skills of the future.


The government has launched a consultation on the proposed design of a new accelerated planning service, as well as new measures to constrain the use of extension of time agreements.


The government has finalised Level 2 devolution powers with Buckinghamshire Council. This includes devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) to Buckinghamshire from 2026/27, subject to readiness conditions.  Full details can be found here.


The full budget report and accompanying publications are available here.