Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

George Osborne delivers Budget - fuel duty frozen, beer duty cut

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has delivered his Budget statement to the House of Commons.

Reacting to the statement, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "This is the Chancellor's fourth Budget but one thing unites them all - every Budget, he comes to this House and things are worse not better for this country."

Here is a summary of the Chancellor's speech:

Describing the statement as a Budget for "a Britain that wants to be prosperous, solvent and free", the Chancellor sat down at 13.26pm.

Around 450,000 small busineses - one third of all employers - will pay no employer National Insurance at all after introduction of Employment Allowance in April next year.

New Employment Allowance will take the first £2,000 off the employer National Insurance bill of every company in the country.

Rise in personal allowance brought forward to 2014, meaning no income tax on the first £10,000 of earnings.

Beer duty escalator scrapped, but planned rises for all other alcohol duties maintained.

Planned 3p rise in beer duty tax scrapped and replaced by a 1p cut in duty on a pint of beer.

September's planned fuel duty rise has been scrapped.

New mortgage guarantee, sufficient to support £130 billion worth of loans, to help people who cannot afford a big deposit.

New Help-to-Buy scheme for those struggling to find mortgage deposits will include £3.5 billion for shared equity loans, and a Government interest-free loan worth 20% of the value of a new build house.

Cap-on social care costs to come in in 2017 and protect savings above £72,000, with the threshold for means tested help raised from £23,000 to £118,000.

Help for Equitable Life policy holders extended to those who bought with-profits annuities before 1992, with payments of £5,000 and extra £5,000 for those on lowest incomes.

Flat rate pension worth £144 a week to be brought forward to 2016.

Tax free child care vouchers worth £1,200 per child and increased support for families with children on universal credit.

Large new package of measures on tax avoidance and evasion to bring in £3 billion in unpaid taxes.

Bank levy rate to increase to 0.142% next year to off-set reductions in corporate tax.

Small company and main rates of corporation tax to be merged at 20p.

Corporation tax reduced by a further 1% to 20% in April 2015.

Abolition of stamp duty on shares traded on growth markets like AIM.

Above the line research and development credit raised to 10%.

Help for employees includes more generous shareholder status, CGT relief for sales of business to workers, tax help to return to help after sickness and a doubling to £10,000 for tax free loans for commuters' season tickets.

Capital Gains Tax holiday to be extended.

"Generous" new tax regime to promote early investment in shale gas.

The Government intends to take forward two major carbon capture and storage projects and offer new tax incentives for manufacture of ultra low emission vehicles.

New Support for small firms through Government procurement budgets, growth vouchers and controls on regulators' charges.

Infrastructure plans to be boosted by £3 billion a year from 2015/16, a total of £15 billion over the next decade.

New limit to be introduced on "annually managed expenditure", which includes welfare budget, debt interest and payments to EU.

European budget deal secured by David Cameron saved the UK £3.5 billion according to OBR.

Military to receive full recommended increase in "X-Factor" payment in May and to be exempted from changes to progression pay.

"Substantial savings" to be found in annual progression pay rises in parts of public sector.

Public sector pay cap of 1% extended by one year in 2015/16.

Chancellor seeks £11.5 billion savings in spending review for 2015/16, up from previously announced £10 billion.

Whitehall department budgets to be cut by 1% after £11 billion underspend this year, with protection for schools and health.

Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee receives updated remit, but keeps 2% inflation target.

Measures in today's Budget will be "fiscally neutral overall".

Proportion of national income spent by the state has fallen from 47.4% three years ago to 43.6% today and is on course to reach 40.5% by the end of the period.

Public sector net debt to be 75.9% of GDP this year then 79.2%, 82.6%, 85.1%, 85.6% in following years before falling to 84.8% in 2017/18.

OBR confirms Government on course to meet fiscal mandate one year early.

Borrowing predicted to fall from £108 billion next year to £97 billion in 2014/15, then £87 billion, £61 billion and £42 billion in following years.

Deficit has fallen from 11.2% of GDP in 2009/10 to a forecast 7.4% this year and is expected to fall to 6.8% next year, 5.9% in 2014/15, then 5%, 3.4% and 2.2% by 2017/18.

OBR revises up forecast for employment, with 600,000 more jobs expected in 2013 than this time last year.

OBR predicts GDP growth in 2014 of 1.8%, then 2.3% in 2015, 2.7% in 2016 and 2.8% in 2017.

OBR predicts UK will avoid a second quarter of negative growth and triple dip recession.

OBR output forecast reduced to 0.6% growth.

UK military and civil service personnel in Cyprus to be "protected in full from any tax on their deposits".

The problems in Cyprus are "further evidence that the crisis is not over and the situation remains very worrying".

He described today's statement as "a Budget for our aspiration nation".

Mr Osborne said the Government had cut the deficit by a third and helped businesses create 1.25 million new jobs but, he added: "It is taking longer than anyone hoped, but we must hold to the right track."

Mr Osborne said: "This is a Budget for people who aspire to work hard and get on."

















Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph