All in all this appears to be a good budget but we must wait to see the details and impact.
I would have liked to have seen a cut in overseas aid. I will be watching closely to make sure this aid is not merged with the military spend to claim that defence spending reaches the NATO commitment of 2% of GDP.
It was disappointing not to see more on merging social care and NHS budgets. This is essential for better outcomes. I think it’s time to stop just throwing money at the NHS and focus on outcomes for the people.
This would have been the opportunity to signal the amendment of the bedroom tax legislation to prevent families being punished if alternative homes with fewer bedrooms are not available.
I am concerned that converting student maintenance grants into loans is yet another barrier for youngsters to overcome. Educating our young people is an investment in our country.
WELFARE– Working-age benefits to be frozen for four years
– Housing benefit will be reduced by 1% a year for the next four years
– Housing benefit to end for 18 to 21-year-olds except in exceptional circumstances
– Tax credits, universal credits and housing benefit stopped for families after the second child
– Employment and Support Allowance to be cut to the level of Jobseekers’ Allowance for new claimants deemed fit to work
– Income threshold in tax credits to be reduced from £6,420 to £3,850
– OBR Growth forecast: 2015 2.4% (-0.1% on March’s figure), 2016 2.3% (no change), 2017 2.4% (+0.1%), 2018 2.4% (+0.1%), 2019 2.4% (no change)
– Budget surplus to be delayed by one year to 2019/20
– Debt as a share of GDP to fall from 80.3% this year to 79.1%, 77.2%, 74.7%, 71.5% and 68.5% in each successive year
– Deficit to be cut at the same pace as during the last Parliament
– One million extra jobs predicted to be created by 2020
– Public sector pay capped at 1% for four years
– personal tax allowance to rise to £11,000 next year, then later to £12,500
– Once £12,500 threshold met, it will be tied to minimum wage
– The 40p threshold will rise to £43,000 from next year, and £50,000 by the end of the decade
– A time limit on the non-dom tax status for those resident in the UK for 15 of the last 20 years
– An end to inherited non-dom status
– Inheritance tax will be cut to allow couples to pass on a family home worth £1m to their children tax-free
– Consultation on major shake-up to pension tax relief
– A compulsory national living wage of £7.20 an hour from next April, rising to £9 by 2020
– Corporation Tax down to 18% by 2020
– Annual Investment Allowance for businesses to rise to £200,000 by end of the parliament
– A dedicated roads fund for investment in road building
– Increased funding for NHS by £10bn by the end of the decade
– £30m to speed up adoption services
– Student maintenance grants turned into loans
– Government to consult on freezing at £21,000 the threshold for student loan repayments
– Maintaining Nato target of spending 2% of GDP on defence
– Victoria Cross stipend increased to £10,000 a year, paid for by banking fines
– New vehicle excise duty bands for new cars from 2017
– Fuel duty frozen for a further year