Chancellor George Osborne unveils Budget 2015: at a glance

Chancellor George Osborne. Photo: Sarah Standing.
Chancellor George Osborne. Photo: Sarah Standing.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has delivered his Budget to Parliament.

George Osborne has this afternoon (March 18) been setting out his tax and spending plans to the House of Commons.

Ahead of today’s statement, he had promised ‘no giveaways, no gimmicks’ in what he described as ‘a Budget for the long term’.

“Today, I report on a Britain that is growing, creating jobs and paying its way,” he told MPs today. “This Budget commits us to the difficult decisions to eliminate our deficit and get our national debt share falling.”

Announcements included:

- Rise in National Minimum Wage, as recommended by the the Low Pay Commission, to £6.70 from this autumn

- Farmers will be able to average their incomes for tax purposes over five years, rather than two as is currently the case

- A sale of £13bn of mortgage assets the Government still holds from bailouts of the Northern Rock and of Bradford and Bingley banks

- The ‘squeeze on public spending’ to end a year earlier because the national debt share is falling a year earlier than forecast

- In 2018-19, Britain will have a budget surplus of 0.2 per cent, it is forecast

- £1.25 billion for mental health services for children and new mums

- A crack down on tax avoidance and evasion, which taken together, is forecast to raise £3.1 billion

- Raising the rate of the bank levy to 0.21 per cent, raising an additional £900 million a year

- The Church Roof Fund will be more than trebled thanks to an extra £40 million

- Charities will be able to claim automatic Gift Aid on the first £8,000 of small donations, up from £5,000

- Tax credits for TV and film to be made more generous, support for the video games industry to be expanded and a new tax credit for orchestras to be launched

- A consultation on how the Government can provide local newspapers with tax support

- Funding for wi-fi in public libraries

- Corporation tax to fall to 20 per cent in April

- Abolishment of the annual tax return, with a more digital-based model introduced

- Cutting beer duty for a third year in a row, with another penny off a pint. Duty on cider and spirits cut and frozen on wine

- A scheduled increase in fuel duty for September cancelled

- The personal tax-free allowance will rise to £10,800 next year and then to £11,000 the year after

- A change in the law to allow five million pensioners to access to their annuity

- More flexible ISAs

- Support for first time buyers through the introduction of the Help to Buy ISA

- From April next year, the first £1,000 of the interest earned on savings will be tax-free

“This is the Budget for Britain - The Comeback Country,” he said, closing his statement.

Chartered acountants Duncan & Toplis took to YouTube yesterday to give their verdict on the Chancellor’s Budget. It is included on this webpage.

What do you think to the budget? How will it affect you? We would like to hear from you.