1. The deficit is falling – but more slowly than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast in December. This year’s deficit is forecast to be 7.4%. Overall national debt is rising – and more quickly than the OBR forecast in December. Debt will be 75.9% of GDP this year. Growth will be 0.6% this year – down from the OBR’s previous forecast of 1.2%.
2. The personal tax allowance will be raised to £10,000 from next year, not from 2015 as previously planned.
3. Corporation tax will be reduced by a 1% to 20% in April 2015.
4. Employers’ national insurance payments will be cut by £2,000.
5. Tax-free childcare vouchers worth £1,200 per child will be introduced.
6. The flat-rate pension worth £144 a week will be brought forward to 2016. The cap on social care costs will come in in 2017 and will protect savings above £72,000. The threshold for means-tested help will be raised from £23,000 to £118,000.
7. The Bank of England has been given an updated remit to support the economy but keeps its 2% inflation target.
8. Whitehall budgets will be cut by 1% – except health and schools – and the money used for a £3bn yearly boost to infrastructure from 2015-16.
9. A “generous” new tax regime to promote investment in shale gas will be introduced. September’s fuel duty rise has been scrapped.
10. The planned 3p rise in beer duty has been scrapped and replaced by a 1p cut in duty on a pint of beer. The beer duty escalator has been scrapped, but planned rises for all other alcohol duties will be maintained.
If you have any concerns about how the budget may affect you, our Trade-Union will be happy to discuss these with you.