The Budget

Downing Street

By Abi Simpson
(First published: 18/03/15)

Today marked the final budget of this government, with the general election in only 50 days. But what does this mean for you?

George Osborne delivered his sixth budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer today.  But what did it say, here is a summary of some of the main points.

The UK’s economy grew by 2.4% last year, and Mr Osborne predicted a growth of a further 2.5% for the coming year.

Unemployment in Britain fell by 5.3%, with employment at a record high.

Inflation is expected to continue to fall, reaching 0.2% in 2015.

Borrowing is also set to fall by nearly £7 billion this year, from £97.5 billion to £90.2 billion.

Welfare bills are expected to be an average of £3 billion less than was predicted in December.

Widows of policemen and fireman will now be able to remarry, and their existing pensions will be protected.

More importantly, beer duty will be cut by 1p a pint and cider by 2p.  There will also be a freeze on wine duty, and a 2% cut in excise duty on Scotch whisky.

Photo by: HMP Treasury

Petrol duty has also been frozen, and the planned increases for September cancelled.

The tax-free personal allowance will rise from £10 000 to £11 000 by 2017, with an in
crease to £10 600 in the next tax year.

Annual paper tax returns are to be scrapped and replaced by digital accounts.

The budget also appears to favour savers, with the first £1000 interest on savings income to be tax-free for basic rate taxpayers and a £500 allowance for 40p taxpayers.

First time buyers will also have access to ‘Help to Buy’ ISA’s, where the government will add £50 for every £200 saved for a deposit.

£25 million has been set aside to help war and nuclear attack veterans.

These are among some of the proposals laid out in today’s budget.  

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