Cultural tax reliefs announced in the Spring Budget

Wednesday 15 March: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, delivered his first Spring Budget today, which he described as Britain’s plan for securing economic growth. It focused on three of the five key priorities set out by the Prime Minister earlier in the year: halving inflation, growing the economy, and getting debt falling. 

What has been announced? 

  • Cultural Tax Reliefs: Theatre Tax Relief, Orchestra Tax Relief, and Museums & Galleries Exhibitions Tax Relief have been extended for two years to April 2025, at which point they will begin to taper off. 
  • Draught relief: From August this year, draught relief will increase from five per cent to 9.2 per cent for beer and cider draught products. This will freeze duty on a typical pint of beer in the pub and ensure this will always be lower than in the supermarket. 
  • Full capital expensing: From next month for three years, companies can claim 100 per cent capital allowances on qualifying plant and machinery investments, allowing them to write off the cost of investment in one go. 
  • Childcare: 30 hours of free childcare has been expanded to include children of working parents from 9 months up to four years’ old. It will be rolled out in stages from April 2024. This is designed to help more working parents into work. 
  • VAT relief: The Government has published a consultation on the reform to VAT relief for the installation of energy saving materials.
  • Business Rates: The Chancellor made a long-term commitment to local authorities retaining 100 per cent of their business rates. 
  • Shortage Occupation List: The Government will review the Shortage Occupation List more regularly to decide which occupations are in short supply in the UK labour market. 
  • Returnerships: This is a new type of apprenticeship targeted at the over 50s, which will refine existing skills programmes to make them more accessible to older workers, giving them the skills and support they need to find a recognisable path back into work.

Commenting on the extension of the cultural reliefs, Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, said:

“It’s fantastic news for the West End’s cultural institutions that the tax relief for theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries will not be tapered down this year, but stay at rates of 45 to 50 per cent until 2025. These cultural reliefs provide much-needed support to these sectors at a challenging time. 

“We welcome this boost but would encourage the Government to make it permanent to provide certainty for businesses.  Given the huge contribution made by these sectors to the national economy, there can be no economic recovery without a cultural recovery. So the whole of the UK, not just London, will benefit from this announcement.” 


More information 

Here are some of the key documents:

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