Budget 2024: Jeremy Hunt expected to freeze fuel duty again - after dire opinion poll ratings for Tories

5 March 2024, 08:36 | Updated: 5 March 2024, 08:40

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt out jogging in Westminster the day before the Budget
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt out jogging in Westminster the day before the Budget. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Jeremy Hunt is set to extend the 5p cut in fuel duty once again in this year's Budget, which is expected to cost the Treasury around £5 billion.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

It is the 14th year in a row that the fuel duty freeze would be in place.

A damning poll issued yesterday put Tory support at a 40-year low and predicted the party could have as few as 25 seats after the next election. Labour, meanwhile, would storm to victory with 537 MPs.

Jeremy Hunt will deliver the Budget after PMQs tomorrow.

Follow the latest developments live below

Overview of the Budget - end of live blog coverage

For an overview of all the key announcements from today's Budget, you can read more here

Thank you for joining LBC's live coverage of the Budget - that's all from us. 

Sir Keir: ‘Britain deserves better and Labour are ready’ for an election

Finalising his reaction to the Budget, the Labour leader says today “could have been a moment of contrition, an apology for the chaos they have inflicted”.

But the result was instead the same “vicious downward spiral”, he says. 

“Five more years and it will only get worse,” he adds. “It's time to break a habit of 14 years.”

He finally urges the Prime Minister to confirm May 2 as the date as the next general election. 

Tory plans made of ‘same old formula’

Sir Keir says the UK needs a better plan, one with a plan for growth and wealth creation across the entire country. 

He shot down statistics previously quoted by the Chancellor, claiming that the country has grown quicker than other European countries. 

“They'll be shocked to learn this is a statistical slight of hand,” he says. 

Taxes remain at ’70-year high,’ Sir Keir says

The Labour leader says the UK is still battling the highest tax burden for 70 years despite the Chancellor’s Budget announcement. 

Sir Keir accuses Tories of smiling ‘as the ship goes down’

The opposition leader says the government has continued to "give with one hand and take even more with the other”. 

He says the Tories are “unable to generate” the growth the country needs amid a recession. 

They lost control of the economy, they sent interest rates through the roof, they made working people pay," he says. 

"That record is how the British people will judge today's cut, because the whole country can see exactly what is happening." 

Sir Keir Starmer reacts to Chancellor's Budget

The Labour Party leader has stepped into the despatch box as he reacts to Jeremy Hunt's Budget. 

Vape duty announced alongside tobacco duty increase

A new duty will be introduced to vaping products from October 2026 in a bid to “discourage non-smokers from taking up vaping”.

Mr Hunt says he will also introduce a one-off increase in tobacco duty “to maintain the financial incentive to choose vaping over smoking."

High income child benefit threshold raised

The threshold will increase from £50,000 to £60,000. 

He adds: "We will raise the top of the taper of which it's withdrawn to £80,000.

"That means no one earning under £60,000 will pay the charge, taking 170,000 families out of paying it altogether."

This, he says, will mean families with children will save an average of £1,300 next year. 

Mr Hunt says he will look at introducing a new rule to make the benefit apply to collective household income, rather than on an individual basis. 

He says he aims to make this change from April 2026. 

Chancellor says ‘non-dom’ system to be axed

"The government will abolish the current system for non-doms," Mr Hunt says. 

A new system will be introduced to replace the “outdated concept of domicile” with one that is “fairer and competitive”. 

"From April 2025, new arrivals to the UK will not be required to pay any tax on foreign income and gains for their first four years of UK residency, a more generous regime than at present and one of the most attractive offers in Europe."

After four years they will pay the same tax rate as those in the UK. 

National Insurance to be cut by 2p - providing £450 annual boost to average employee

Mr Hunt says national insurance will be cut from 10% to 8% to provide a boost of £450 to the average employee in the UK. 

National insurance for self-employed individuals will be cut from 8% to 6% - providing a boost of £350 on average. 

The Chancellor says "it means 27 million employees will get an average tax cut of £900" when combined with the previous cut in Autumn. 

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Actor Alec Baldwin reacts during his trial for involuntary manslaughter

Alec Baldwin weeps in court as judge dismisses manslaughter case against actor after fatal shooting on film set

Police have named 24-year-old Colombian national Yostin Andres Mosquera as suspect

Suspect named in manhunt as more human remains found in flat after two bodies discovered in suitcases in Bristol

Patrice Evra has been given a suspended 12-month sentence after being found guilty of abandoning his family for over two years

Man United legend Evra given suspended 12-month prison sentence after being found guilty of abandoning wife and two children

The Prince of Wales will attend Sunday's Euro 2024 final in Berlin

Prince William to attend Euro final 2024 in Berlin as England take on Spain

Gareth Southgate has said it would be “emotionally impossible” to make a “logical decision” on his future

'Emotionally imposssible' to make decision on future ahead of Euro 2024 final, says England boss Southgate

A crime scene has been set up in Shepherd's Bush, west London

Manhunt for suspect widens to London after human remains of two men found in suitcases in Bristol

More than 1,800 jobs and 272 stores are at risk as major retailer Carpetright is headed towards administration

Carpetright heads towards administration in move that would put all of its 272 stores and nearly 2,000 jobs at risk

Five men died on the OceanGate Titan vessel.

Plaque to be laid next to Titanic in honour of Titan submersible victim

The incident at Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol yesterday

Human remains found in suitcases dumped near Bristol bridge 'belong to two men'

Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood, with Governor Sarah Bott, during a visit to HMP Bedford in Harpur, Bedfordshire

Thousands of prisoners are to be released after serving just 40 per cent of sentences as jails face 'collapse'

Supermarkets have altered their opening hours for the Euro 2024 final

Get the supplies in: Every supermarket closing early this Sunday as England take on Spain in Euro 2024 final

The Princess Royal has returned to public duties for the first time since her head injury

Princess Anne returns to public duties for first time since horse-related accident

Michael White has been removed from the World Snooker Tour

Professional snooker player jailed for assaulting girlfriend and removed from world tour

England's bus parade would travel to Buckingham Palace to be honoured by King Charles and the Prince of Wales

England to have open-top bus parade through London if Southgate's side beat Spain in Euro 2024 final

Police have launched an investigation after the death of a baby at an address in Taviton street, Camden

Body of newborn baby found in bin as murder investigation launched

It is unknown how the whales became stranded.

Pod of 77 whales dies after becoming stranded on Scottish beach