Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave an assured performance delivering his first Budget as he promised to do "whatever it takes" to support the economy as concerns grow about the significant impact of the coronavirus. But what were the other main areas of interest for Investment Week readers?
The Chancellor committed a £30bn fiscal stimulus package to tackle the economic impact of coronavirus, promising "to keep this country and our people financially secure".
Among the spending pledges is a £2bn cash injection into 700,000 of the UK's smallest business, and £7bn of support for the self-employed, businesses and vulnerable people.
There will also be a £5bn "emergency response fund", which could "go further if necessary", in addition to a "fiscal loosening" of £18bn.
To cushion the impact on smaller businesses, those with fewer than 250 employees will be refunded for any sick pay up to 14 days, amounting to "up to £2bn for up to two million businesses".
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) provided growth forecasts for the UK of 1.1% in 2020, 1.8% in 2021, 1.5% in 2022, 1.3% in 2023 and 1.4% in 2024, although these projections do not allow for the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
As a proportion of GDP, borrowing will jump from 2.1% this year to 2.4% and 2.8% in the next two years respectively, before falling to 2.5% the year after.
The tapered annual allowance has been 'significantly increased' by the Chancellor after it left senior NHS staff with hefty pension-related tax bills due to working extra shifts.
Sunak said in his Budget speech: "The pensions tax system is preventing doctors taking on more hours. To significantly reduce the amount of people the tapered annual allowance affects, I am increasing the taper threshold by £90,000 removing anyone with income below £200,000.
"Based on their vital work for the NHS, that will take around 98% of consultants and 96% of GPs out of the taper altogether."
Sunak has pledged to raise Junior ISA and Child Trust Funds (CTFs) saving limits to £9,000 a year from 2020/21.
The accompanying Budget documents revealed the amount families will be able to save into a JISA or CTF will be more than doubled in 202/21.This will take the total amount families and children are able to save tax-free from £4,368 to £9,000.
The Government is consulting on measures that will allow UK investors to continue to access EU-domiciled funds after the Brexit transition period at the end of this year.
The Overseas Funds Regime (OFR) would see HM Treasury grant equivalence to a country, thereby easing access to marketing in the UK, in a similar manner to that of the EU's equivalence regime.
For retail funds, OFR would enable the Treasury to apply additional requirements to funds from equivalent countries, not previously covered by existing legislation.
The Chancellor has pledged to reduce the Entrepreneurs' Relief lifetime limit from £10m to £1m. He described Entrepreneurs' Relief in its current form as "expensive", "ineffective" and "unfair".
Despite calls to scrap the relief entirely, Sunak said he would instead cut the lifetime limit by £9m.
Entrepreneurs' Relief is applied when a business owner decides to sell or liquidate their business. It enables company founders selling their businesses to pay capital gains tax at a rate of 10% as opposed to the typical 20% that usually applies to gains of up to £10m.
The Government has confirmed it has increased the National Insurance (NI) threshold from £8,632 to £9,500 from April. The Chancellor said the move would mean those earning under £9,500 would pay no NI whatsoever, saving 31 million people across the UK up to £104 a year.
Sunak sought to beef up its net zero transition, unveiling a raft of new green spending plans and policy moves.
He dedicated a lengthy section of the Budget to the Government's climate plans, announcing new measures to step up clean tech R&D, increase taxes on pollution, accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, double flood defence spending over the course of the Parliament, and deliver new funding for carbon capture and storage projects and nature-based emission reduction initiatives.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor also confirmed plans to move ahead with the Government's manifesto promise to introduce a new plastics packaging tax, confirming that from April 2022 the Government will charge manufacturers and importers £200 per tonne on packaging made of less than 30% recycled plastic.
While Sunak made little mention of Brexit in his Budget speech, the Budget document set out that the "baseline scenario" is for the UK to leave "without a future relationship being agreed with the EU" at the end of the transition period.
HM Treasury has outlined an additional £14.6bn of funding to be made available by 2024-25 as a result of "direct Brexit fiscal savings". In his speech, Sunak did say that "we promised to get Brexit done and we got it done".
The Government's "largest ever investment" into English strategic roads was unveiled by the Chancellor as part of a £640bn of gross capital investment into UK infrastructure.
He committed £2.5bn to a pothole fund over the next five years to fill approximately 50 million potholes across the country.
The Government launched a consultation on the reform of Retail Price Index (RPI) methodology, which asks for responses on the timing of the UK Statistics Authority's proposal and the impact on the index-linked gilt market.
The consultation opened at 11.45pm yesterday (11 March) and is set to close on 22 April. Buck head of retirement consulting Vishal Makkar said: "The real losers of any RPI to CPI change are those retirees whose pensions will receive lower increases in the future, with some losing around 1% of the value of their benefits each year."
The Government also launched a "major" review of the UK's fintech sector to be led by Ron Kalifa, non-executive director, court of directors at the Bank of England. It also committed to extending funding for the Fintech Delivery Panel.
In the Budget document, it revealed: "The Government also intends to consult later in 2020 on the broader regulatory approach to cryptoassets, including new challenges from so-called ‘stablecoins'."