Budget 2013 - A Quick Guide
The key points of Chancellor George Osborne's 2013 budget are listed below:
FUEL, CIGARETTES AND ALCOHOL
A 3p fuel duty rise due in September scrapped
This April's 3p rise in beer duty scrapped. Instead, beer duty to be cut by 1p
The annual inflation +2% rise in beer duty to be ended but "duty escalator" to remain in place for wine, cider and spirits
Cigarette duty remains unchanged - continuing to rise by inflation +2%
The limit at which people start paying tax to be raised to £10,000 in 2014, one year earlier than planned
BUSINESS AND COMPANIES
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
Shared equity schemes will be 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
(OBR) Office for Budget Responsibility 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.
The OBR predicts borrowing of £121bn this year, the same as last year, and £120bn for 2014-5
Chancellor 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 AND UNEMPLOYMENT
600,000 more jobs expected this year than at same time last year
Jobless claimants 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
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Further tax incentives for ultra low-emission cars
Pottery industry in Midlands to be exempt from climate change levy
Special tax allowances for investment in shale gas
2% Bank of England inflation target to stay in place
Bank remit to be changed to focus on growth as well as inflation
Single flat-rate pension of £144 a week brought forward a year to 2016
A cap on social care costs confirmed
A 20% tax relief on childcare up to £6,000 per child from 2015
Up to £5,000 payments for those who lost money on Equitable Life policies bought before 1992. Extra money for those on low incomes
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