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Osborne Budget to tax private jets

Air passenger duty is to be imposed on private jets, Chancellor George Osborne is to announce in the Budget in a bid to show that the well-off are sharing the pain of his austerity measures.

The move is expected to cost executive flyers tens of million of pounds each year and will come alongside a freezing of the duty paid by holidaymakers for flights abroad.

But they will continue to escape the new charge for at least a year, it is understood, while a consultation is carried out on how to apply it and what the rate should be.

Mr Osborne will also use Wednesday's Budget statement to detail a clampdown on tax avoidance which he hopes will result in an extra £4 billion for the Treasury over the next four years.

That is twice the sum ministers previously suggested would be raised by closing loopholes - around half the increase coming from new measures to be unveiled in the Budget and the rest from upwardly-revised calculations of the impact of a package set out in December.

Mr Osborne has vowed that there will be no more tax rises and no more spending cuts in this week's statement, which will set out a package of measures to boost growth and jobs.

Income tax thresholds will be raised in real terms, he confirmed at the weekend amid reports that he may take all those earning under £8,000 out of the tax altogether.

And he has hinted he will postpone the 1p rise in fuel duty scheduled for April 1 in order to relieve pressure on motorists struggling with prices at the pump of £1.30 or more.

He is also expected to extend the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme introduced under Labour for a further year, helping an estimated 100,000 households avoid repossession. The scheme, which had been due to end at the start of 2012, offers support for home-owners struggling with mortgage repayment due to unemployment.

But the Chancellor has insisted he will ignore Labour demands to slow the pace of cuts, warning: "We would lose economic stability, we would be back in the mess of wondering what is going to happen tomorrow to Britain's credit rating. That's not going to happen."


From Belfast Telegraph