Budget 2020 – a Budget for strange days

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The first Budget of 2020 may be the most unusual for years.

The UK somehow survived 2019 without a Budget. Finally, on 11 March the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, presented a postponed Budget, the first of two due this year. But it was against a vastly different backdrop from what had been expected as recently as a month earlier.

Coping with Covid-19

This was primarily an emergency Budget, focused on a “temporary, timely and targeted” response to the global economic shock from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chancellor announced a range of measures aimed at alleviating the disruption to individuals and businesses over the coming weeks and months, including business rate cuts and extensions to statutory sick pay. Since the Budget, the Government has added to these measures as we continue to experience the economic fallout of the lockdown.

Nevertheless, the Chancellor could not completely ignore the legislative backlog that had built up, and so, alongside the Covid-19 measures, there were some limited longer-term announcements in the Budget:

Expected changes overlooked

Several announcements had been expected but did not appear in the Budget. These included the reform of inheritance tax and a general restructuring of the pension tax rules. It is difficult to predict, but there is still a chance that these gaps might be filled later this year in an autumn Budget.

If you need any information on how the changes announced in the Budget could affect you or actions you should consider before the next Budget, please contact us.


Levels and bases of taxation and tax reliefs are subject to change and their value depends on individual circumstances.

Tax laws can change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.

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