Published On: 13 March 2024

Spring Budget 2024: What does it mean for the housing and telecoms sectors?

Expected to be the last major fiscal announcement before a general election later this year, the 2024 Spring Budget has attracted attention from a variety of sectors. 

The build-up to the Chancellor’s speech inevitably saw businesses and industry bodies calling on the Chancellor for more support. The telecoms and housing sectors were no exception.  

For instance, Mobile UK, the trade body representing leading mobile operators, made a plea to the Chancellor to boost investment into the national network and mobile infrastructure. Meanwhile, as ever, the housing industry was seeking more commitments for housebuilding, as well as the essential physical and digital infrastructure to support communities across the country.  


What does the Spring budget mean for Full Fibre broadband and the telecoms sector? 

On a mission to widen digital inclusivity and championing the safe, high quality installation of Full Fibre broadband, CTG was hoping the government would lend its support to the much needed roll out of ultrafast connectivity. 

Alongside the plea from Mobile UK for incentivising of telecoms into the telecoms sector, there were predictions that the Government would crack down on broadband providers enforcing mid-contract price hikes – although, unfortunately  these were not part of the final Budget.   

“It was disappointing that the purported crackdown on broadband providers inflicting substantial mid-contract price hikes was absent from the Chancellor’s budget,” said our CCO, Kevin Monaghan.  

“Broadband must be accessible to everyone, and affordable connectivity is essential in widening digital inclusivity, and we would have wholly supported this measure. 

“It was also disappointing not to see provisions in the Budget for improving digital infrastructure across the UK. The focus is often on delivering Full Fibre broadband to remote, rural areas, yet there is substantial long-term investment and policy required to improve Full Fibre availability in urban areas.  

“Millions of people living in Multi-Dwelling Units (high-rise blocks of flats) still lack access to reliable broadband – something that is now considered a vital modern-day utility. 

“Access to reliable, safe, and Full Fibre broadband is crucial for economic development and social inclusion. Therefore, we call on the Government to prioritise any action that ensures no one is digitally left behind.” 


What was included in the Spring Budget 

So, what else did Jeremy Hunt announce in his speech on 6th March? 

Here is an overview of some of the key policies, as well as reflections on important topics not covered in the Budget.  

Housebuilding commitments 

Various measures were announced to improve housing supply in different parts of the UK. These include £240m to unlock up to 7,200 homes in Barking and a new life sciences hub and up to 750 homes in Canary Wharf; £4m for the Euston Housing Delivery Group to support plans to deliver up to 10,000 new homes around the HS2 terminus; and a second round of the Local Nutrient Mitigation Fund, designed to help restart schemes totalling 30,000 homes stalled by the nutrient neutrality crisis. 

More broadly, the Government said it was on track to achieve its goal of overseeing the delivery of 1 million new homes during the current five-year parliament 


Community-led housing schemes 

Further to the above, the Chancellor unveiled a new £20m fund for community-led housing schemes, which are designed to support local communities to deliver the developments they want and need. 

Specifics on how and where the funding will be spent are yet to be confirmed, but the Government estimates that 280,000 new homes could be delivered as a result. 

Household Support Fund extended  

The social housing sector may take note that the Government’s Household Support Fund – which was introduced during the cost-of-living crisis and allows councils to help families via food banks, warm spaces and food vouchers – was extended for six months. It had been due to end on 31st March but will now run until the end of September 2024.  

Property capital gains tax cut  

Hunt confirmed that he was reducing the rate of capital gains tax charged on house sales from 28% to 24%, while at the same time abolishing tax relief on stamp duty used by landlords when making bulk purchases. 

Levelling up 

The Chancellor announced expanded funding for six tech-focused Investment Zones, which are low-tax zones established in last year’s Spring Budget.  

Investment in tech 

A funding package of £360m was announced to support British R&D and manufacturing. The funding includes £92m for life science manufacturing facilities as well as £200m for clean aviation technology development and almost £73m for electric vehicle development. 

There was no mention of structural reform of the R&D tax credit scheme, although there was mention of the Government’s intention to “improve the functioning of the R&D tax reliefs system”. 

There were no policies directly impacting the telecoms sector. 


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