Key points from the UK Budget 2013

21 March 2013

FUEL, ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES

  • September's 3p fuel duty rise scrapped
  • April's 3p rise in beer duty scrapped. Instead, beer duty to be cut by 1p
  • Annual inflation +2% rise in beer duty to be ended but "duty escalator" to remain in place for wine, cider and spirits
  • Cigarette duties unchanged - continuing to rise by inflation +2%

INCOME TAX

  • Limit at which people start paying tax to be raised to £10,000 in 2014 - a year earlier than planned

HOUSING

  • Shared equity schemes extended, with interest-free loans for homebuyers up to 20% of value of new-build properties
  • Bank guarantees to underpin £130bn of new mortgage lending for three years from 2014

STATE OF THE ECONOMY

  • Growth forecast for 2013 halved to 0.6% from 1.2% in December
  • Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) watchdog predicts UK will escape recession this year
  • Growth predicted to be 1.8% in 2014; 2.3% in 2015; 2.7% in 2016 and 2.8% in 2017.

BORROWING

  • The OBR predicts borrowing of £121bn this year, the same as last year, and £120bn for 2014-5
  • George Osborne says the deficit as a share of GDP will fall from 7.4% in 2013-14 to 5% in 2015-16
  • Debt as a share of GDP to increase from 75.9% this year to 85.6% in 2016-17

SPENDING AND PAY

  • Most government departments to see budgets cut by 1% in each of next two years
  • Schools and NHS will be protected
  • £11.5bn in further cuts earmarked in 2015-16 Spending Review, up from £10bn
  • 1% cap on public sector pay extended to 2015-16 and limits on "progression" pay rises in the sector
  • Military to be exempt from "progression" pay limits.
  • Proceeds of Libor banking fines to be given to good military causes, including Combat Stress charity

JOBS

  • 600,000 more jobs expected this year than at same time last year
  • Claimant count to fall by 60,000

TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  • An extra £15bn for new road, rail and construction projects by 2020, starting with £3bn in 2015-16

HELP FOR BUSINESS

  • Corporation tax to be cut from 21% to 20% in 2015
  • New employment allowance to cut National Insurance bills cut by £2,000 for every firm
  • 450,000 small firms will pay no employer National Insurance
  • Government procurement from small firms to rise fivefold
  • Tax relief for investment in social enterprises
  • Stamp duty axed on shares traded on growth markets like Aim.
  • Tax avoidance and evasion measures, including agreements with Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey, aimed at recouping £3bn in unpaid taxes

ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Tax incentives for ultra low-emission cars
  • Pottery industry in Midlands to be exempt from climate change levy
  • Tax allowances for investment in shale gas

INFLATION

  • 2% Bank of England inflation target to stay in place
  • Bank remit to be changed to focus on growth as well as inflation

PENSIONERS

  • Single flat-rate pension of £144 a week brought forward a year to 2016
  • Cap on social care costs confirmed

FAMILIES

  • 20% tax relief on childcare up to £6,000 per child from 2015
  • £5,000 payments for those who lost money on Equitable Life policies bought before 1992. Extra money for those on low incomes.

Source: BBC News 

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