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UK Budget 2013: The Lowdown

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Dire economic numbers. Debt rising. Growth falling. Public Sector pay caps. And the order of an extra year of austerity

It might not have been the best day for the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to make his debut on Twitter, where he stated:

'I'll present a budget that tackles the economies problems head on helping those who want to work hard and get on' .

Couple the doom and gloom with the fact that there is something about him that the public have never liked, it is no surprise that the results were not pretty. 'How do you sleep at night' and 'you are such a plum' were among the kinder welcomes he received. Others came up with 'George Osborne has the most smackable face I've ever seen', 'More meaningless drivel from a trust fund sap. Hurry up and resign... no one has faith in you' and a spoof Osborne tweet:'Today I'm happy to launch the ''Eat an elderly family member to survive' scheme, reducing population and increasing growth.' Poor George Osborne, Let's look at some of the cards he kept up his sleeve to win back some friends: £10,000 tax free personal allowance - brought forward a year to 2014/15 Means hundreds of pounds extra for 24 million taxpayers and will take 2.7million working age adults out of income tax altogether, However, many would like him to go further - with the goal that people shouldn't have to pay income tax until they earn more than the minimum wage (£13,000). Additionally, whilst the personal allowance tax increase, on the face of it, looks good, it will only benefit the population who are currently 20% taxpayers because of the simultaneous drop in the higher earnings threshold, sucking many hundreds of thousands of 20% taxpayers into the 40% band.

More interesting: UK Budget 2014 – The Update

3p autumn fuel duty rise scrapped and 6p beer duty rise scrapped and a further 1p per pint cut from Sunday night This offers crumbs of comfort to motorists and real ale lovers. However the price of wine will go up by 10p a bottles, spirits will go up by 53p a bottle and cigarettes will go up by 26p for a pack of 20 £130billion Government guarantee for homeowners with 5% deposit The 'Help to Buy' scheme will see a prospective buyer contributing a five % deposit, whilst the Treasury will guarantee another 15%. Such help is welcome - particularly in London, where the average home price is now £373,000 and the average deposit for a first time buyer is £60,000.

National Insurance break for small firms A new employment allowance will cut the first £2,000 from employers' national insurance bills. This equals no employer's NIC if you have one employee earning up to £22,000 or up to four employees on minimum wage. It is thought that this will benefit around 450,000 small businesses – one third of all employers – who will now pay no employers' NI at all.

Tax-free childcare vouchers will be introduced, worth £1,200 per child for families with both parents working and with a joint income of £300,000 or less. Some may ask if people earning £300,000 need this tax break! This measure may also leave those families with only one partner working feeling hard done by. New measures on tax avoidance and evasion. Agreements with Isle of Man, Jersey andGuernseyto bring in over a billion pounds of unpaid taxes. There is also a plan to name and shame slippery accountants who make a living promoting tax avoidance schemes. Corporation tax to be cut to 20% in April 2015. 

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