The Budget At A Glance

18 March 2015, 16:38

Chancellor George Osborne's been delivering his last budget before the General Election in May.

Here are the main points:

Income Tax

The income tax personal allowance is to rise to £10,800 next year and £11,000 the year after, making typical working taxpayer £900 a year better off and cutting tax for 27 million people.

Above-inflation rise in threshold for 40p income tax rate from £42,385 this year to £43,300 by 2017/18.

The transferable tax allowance for married couples to rise to £1,100.

The share of income tax paid by the top 1% of earners is projected to rise from 25% in 2010 to more than 27% this year, while lower-paid 50% of earners pay a smaller proportion than under Labour.

Employers' national insurance for under-21s will be abolished from this April and for young apprentices from next April.

A "major review" of the business rates system and the reduction in the annual investment allowance to be set at a rate "much more generous" than £25,000.

Class Two national insurance contributions for the self-employed to be abolished in next Parliament.

The annual tax return will be abolished altogether, replaced by digital and online systems.

Other Taxes

A penny a pint will be knocked off beer duty, cider duty will be cut by 2% and duty on Scotch whisky and other spirits also cut by 2%. Wine duty frozen and duties on tobacco and gaming also unchanged.

The fuel duty increase which was scheduled for September is cancelled.

The pension pot lifetime allowance to be reduced from £1.25 million to £1 million from next year, saving £600 million annually.

Government to legislate next week on diverted profits tax aimed at multinationals shifting profits offshore, and bring it into effect at the start of April.

Tax rules to be tightened to prevent contrived loss arrangements, use of foreign branches to reclaim VAT on overheads, clampdown on "umbrella companies" and ensure entrepreneurs relief is only available to those selling genuine stakes in businesses.

The measures on tax avoidance and evasion to raise £3.1 billion over the forecast period.

Review on the use of deeds of variation to avoid inheritance tax, to report by the autumn.

Bank levy raised to 0.21%, raising an additional £900 million a year, with banks to be barred from deducting compensation for mis-selling from their corporation tax bills. In total, new banking taxes to raise £5.3 billion across forecast period.

Reduced rate of increase in company car tax for low-emission vehicles - with other vehicle rates rising by 3% in 2019/20.

Introduction of "generous" tax allowance to stimulate investment in North Sea oil industry from start of April, with Government investing in new surveys of UK continental shelf.

Support totalling £1.3 billion for oil industry includes cut in petroleum revenue tax from 50% to 35% next year and in supplementary charge from 30% to 20%, backdated to January.

Pensions & Savings

Law change to allow pensioners to access their annuities, with 55% tax charge abolished and tax applied at the marginal rate.

Annual savings limit for Isa increased to £15,240 and a new fully flexible Isa created.

A new Help To Buy Isa for first-time buyers allows the Government to top-up by £50 every £200 saved for a deposit.

A new personal savings allowance from April next year means first £1,000 of interest on savings will be tax-free.

Economy & Public Finances

At 2.6% UK growth was faster than any other major economy last year.

The forecast for UK growth in 2015 has been revised upwards from 2.4% in Autumn Statement to 2.5% now.

Unemployment is forcecast to fall to 5.3% across the UK this year.

Mr Osborne said the average household is around £900 better off in 2015 than 2010, with living standards set to grow strongly every year until 2020.

Welfare bills set to be an average of £3 billion lower each year than predicted in December.

Treasury to sell at least a further £9 billion of Lloyds Bank shares in the coming year and launch sale of £13 billion of mortgage assets from Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.

Resources from bank sales, lower interest payments and lower welfare bills to be used to pay down the national debt.

Squeeze on public spending to end a year earlier than planned, so that in 2019/20 spending grows in line with the growth of the economy.

Investment & Spending

A further £75 million from Libor fines paid by the banks to go to good causes.

Additional money to support the fight against terrorism.

An extension to £8,000 in automatic gift aid will benefit 6,500 small charities.

Support for automotive industry including investment of £100 million for driverless technology.

Announcement of "more generous" tax credits for TV and film, expanded support for video games industry and new tax credit for orchestras.

A new horse race betting right, and a consultation on tax support for local newspapers.

Up to £600 million to clear new spectrum bands for auction to improve mobile networks.