7 March 2024

Reacting to the Chancellor’s Spring Budget, which was announced yesterday, Andrew Craddock, Chief Executive Officer of Darlington Building Society commented:

“We welcome the Spring Budget, appreciating that the Chancellor is working against a challenging external landscape as the cost of living challenges continue to affect people.

“Whilst the devil is in the detail, our key concern as a Society is that it doesn’t appear to go far enough in helping people who are only able to save on a smaller scale, nor first-time buyers – the latter of which received no support at all in this Budget.

“Additionally, there was no mention of the Lifetime ISA, specifically reducing or abolishing the withdrawal penalty or reviewing the price threshold to align with today’s higher house prices. Both measures have been widely asked for by our industry and would have been roundly supported by the financial services sector. We hope that the LISA is tabled as part of the ISA reforms discussion that the Chancellor noted in his speech.

“Whilst it’s disappointing that the government failed to address smaller-scale and LISA savers, the British Savings Bond and UK ISA, both geared towards building a new generation of retail investors, should do just that. We are supportive of measures that help to build a nation of savers, particularly with the strong links identified between financial and mental wellbeing.

“Finally, we applaud the £20m community regeneration grant that has been awarded to Darlington, and look forward to seeing it put to good use in our heartland.”