The chancellor’s budget speech lasted for 46 minutes, and contained few surprises. There was good news for families struggling to cope with high water bills in the south west, with an offer of support, but there is little detail on the mechanics of any scheme as yet.
Here are the main points of George Osborne’s speech;
There will be support for families in the south-west of England with water bills
The growth forecast for both 2011 and 2012 has been downgraded, from 2.1% to 1.7% and from 2.6% to 2.5% respectively.
Inflation is expected to remain between 4% and 5% in 2011
FUEL, CIGARETTE AND ALCOHOL DUTIES
There will be further changes to alcohol duty rates
Tax on tobacco will rise by two per cent above the rate of inflation
VAT on fuel will not be reduced, but fuel duty to be cut by 1p a litre from tonight.
A planned 4p per litre rise has been delayed for twelve months
As expected, there are no new personal tax increases, and the personal tax allowance will rise a further £630 to £8,015 in April 2012
The Government is to begin work on a long-term plan to merge income tax and National Insurance
The 50% top rate of tax introduced by Labour will remain, but will be reviewed to see how much it actually raises
OTHER TAXES AND ALLOWANCES
As already announced, council tax will be frozen or reduced this year across England
There will be a 10 percent discount on inheritance tax for people leaving 10 per cent of their estate to charity
A levy on so-called "non-doms" up to £50,000 for those resident in the UK for 12 years
A tax avoidance clampdown is estimated to raise £1bn this year
A Government-backed shared equity scheme to help 10,000 first-time buyers who are struggling to raise the deposits required to buy their homes
HELP FOR BUSINESS
Corporation tax is now to be cut by two per cent in April, not one per cent as previously planned
Bank levy to be adjusted so banks do not pay less tax as a result
43 tax reliefs to be scrapped as part of simplification of tax code
There will be £100m funding provided for science facilities
A total of 21 "enterprise zones" to be launched, backed by tax incentives
JOBS AND SKILLS
40,000 new apprenticeships will be created for young people out of work
There will be funding provided for 100,000 work experience placements
A commitment to a long-term aim for £140 a week flat-rate state pension - not to apply to current pensioners
An extra £100m will be provided for repairing potholes in England, as well as £200m support for regional railways in England
There will be £2bn extra funding for Green Investment Bank - to be launched in 2012
For the Chancellor's statement in full see below
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