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Wednesday, 24 March 2010

BUDGET - THE KEY POINTS

Global recession has not turned into depression, UK unemployment has not risen as much as feared and borrowing is lower than forecast last year.

The economy is at a crossroads and the Budget will set out a route to long-term prosperity with a £2.5 billion one-off growth package at its heart.

The impact of the economic crisis has meant the UK economy has contracted by around 6% over the course of the recession.

The Chancellor forecast the economy to grow by between 1% and 1.5% this year and between 3% and 3.5% in 2011.

The Government is to stick to its spending plans for next year, with a 2.2% real terms increase.

A policy of immediate cuts to public spending would be both wrong and dangerous and would risk derailing the recovery, said the Chancellor.

The Government is making considerable progress on securing £16 billion through asset sales.

Borrowing this year should be £11 billion lower than forecast.

In 2010/11, borrowing will be £163 billion, falling to £131 billion in 2011/12, then £110 billion in 2012/13.

In 2013/14 it will be £89 billion, reaching £74 billion in 2014/15, £8 billion lower than forecast in December.

Debt will be £100 billion lower by 2013/14 than was expected at last year's Budget.

As a share of the economy, borrowing is forecast at 11.8% of GDP this year, 11.1% next year, then 8.5%. In 2012/13 it will be 6.8%, then 5.2%, falling to 4% in 2014/15.

Mr Darling said this means a reduction in the deficit from 11.8% of GDP to 5.2%, more than halved over a four-year period, with the structural deficit estimated at 8.4% of GDP this year, falling to 2.5% by the end of the period.

Public sector net debt will reach 54% of GDP this year, increasing to 75% in 2014/15, and beginning to fall the year after that.

HOUSING

The Support for Mortgage Interest scheme will continue at the higher rate for another six months.

The Stamp Duty limit for first-time buyers will be doubled from midnight to £250,000 for this year and next. It will be funded through an increase in Stamp Duty to 5% for houses worth over £1 million from April 2011.


From October next year, the most expensive properties will be excluded from the Housing Benefit calculation in each area, which will - added to anti-fraud measures - save £250 million a year.


CONSUMERS

Next month's increase in fuel duties will be staged. Fuel duty will rise by a penny in April, followed by a further 1p rise in October and the remainder in January.

Duty on beer, wine and spirits will increase as planned from midnight on Sunday.


Alcohol duties will also increase by 2% above inflation for two further years from 2013.
Duty on cider will increase by 10% above inflation from midnight on Sunday.


Tobacco duty will increase from today by 1% above inflation and then increase by 2% in real terms each year until 2014.


From next month, the annual ISA limit will rise from £7,200 to £10,200 and ISA limits will increase annually in line with inflation.



BENEFITS


Parents of one and two-year-old children will be helped by increasing by £4 a week money paid through Child Tax Credit from 2012.


The pensioners' higher Winter Fuel Payment of £250, and £400 for the over-80s, will be guaranteed for another year.


JOBS, EDUCATION AND TRAINING


A guarantee of a job or training for every 18-24 year-old after six months out of work is to be extended until March 2012.


The Government will set up a £35 million University Enterprise Capital Fund to support university innovation and spin-out companies.


A University Modernisation Fund will give a one-off funding boost of £270

million in 2010/11, creating 20,000 more university places starting this

September.


CIVIL SERVANTS


Public pay settlements will be held at a maximum of 1% for the two years from 2011.


The number of civil servants in London is to be reduced by one-third over the long term, with 15,000 posts relocated within the next five years.


One thousand posts from the Ministry of Justice will be moved out of central London, saving £41 million.


ROADS


The Chancellor said he would provide £100 million to pay for vital repairs to local roads throughout the country following the recent bad weather and £285 million to pay for improvements on motorways.


TAX


The Budget will bring in additional tax of half a billion pounds each year.


VAT receipts are now £3 billion higher than forecast and better company profits have led to higher Corporation Tax receipts, with spending broadly in line with his forecast, said Mr Darling.


Inheritance tax threshold will be frozen for a further four years to help pay for the cost of care for older people.



BANKS


The Treasury has already received over £8 billion in fees and charges from banks and the one-off 50% tax on bankers' bonuses has already raised £2 billion.


More countries now agree on the need for an international systemic tax on banks, which must be brought forward quickly, as he will urge

international finance ministers in Washington next month.


A new guarantee will mean everyone can have a basic bank account, giving up to 1 million more people access to bank accounts over the next five years.



DEFENCE


More than £4 billion from next year's reserve will be allocated to fund

operations in Afghanistan.


BUSINESSES


Over the next year, RBS and Lloyds will provide a total of £94 billion of new business loans, nearly half to smaller firms.


A new Credit Adjudicator will fast-track complaints from smaller firms who say they have been unfairly denied credit.


The Financial Services Authority is to improve and speed up the licensing process for new banks to boost competition


A new national investment corporation, to be called UK Finance For Growth, will streamline and improve Government help to small and medium-sized enterprises, overseeing £4 billion of support for business.


A new Growth Capital Fund will provide fast-growing companies with private capital and will eventually provide £500 million of finance - with commercial banks so far agreeing to contribute more than £100 million.


An extra 15% of central Government contracts will go to SMEs, which could mean up to £15 billion of new business across the whole of the public sector.


Business rates will be cut for one year from October, meaning a tax reduction for over 500,000 small businesses in England.


Small businesses will be helped to expand by doubling the annual investment allowance to £100,000.


INDUSTRY


To boost a low-carbon economy, the Government will set up a new Green Investment Bank, controlling £2 billion of equity.


The fund will focus on green transport and energy, including offshore wind power, with £60 million offered to develop ports hosting manufacturers of offshore wind turbines.


The Chancellor will offer help to the computer games sector similar to the aid given the British film industry.
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 3:20 pm  

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