CHANCELLOR George Osborne offered help for pensioners and savers a year ahead of the general election as he delivered a Budget described by one observer as a “great granny giveaway”.
* Economy grew by “three times as much” as forecast – 0.6 per cent in 2013.
* Borrowing expected to be £108billion this year – £12billion less than forecast a year ago.
WELFARE & TAX AVOIDANCE
* People signed-up to disclosed tax avoidance schemes to be required to pay their taxes up front.
* Tax on homes owned through a company to be extended from residential properties worth more than £2m to those worth more than £500,000. Residential property worth more than £500,000 bought through corporate envelope to be liable to 15 per cent stamp duty.
* Compliance checks on migrants claiming benefits they are not entitled to to save almost £100m.
* Inheritance tax waived for emergency services personnel who “give their lives protecting us”. VAT waived on fuel for air ambulances and inshore rescue boats.
* Lending for exporters doubled to £3billion and interest rates on that lending cut by one third.
* Reform of air passenger duty so all long haul flights carry the same tax rate as currently charged for flights to USA.
* Housing policies to support more than 200,000 new homes.
* Additional £140m made available for repairs and maintenance to flood defences. Additional £200million for potholes.
* Mr Osborne said he was “determined” that the HS2 rail link should go “further north faster”.
* Business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances in enterprise zones extended for further three years
* The two per cent increase in company car tax to be extended to 2017 and 2018.
* Fuel duty rise planned for September “will not take place”.
* Duty on fixed odds betting terminals increased to 25 per cent, horse racing betting levy extended to offshore bookmakers.
* Tobacco duty to rise by two per cent above inflation, and the escalator extended for the rest of the next Parliament.
* Alcohol duty escalator scrapped, so taxes will rise in line with inflation except for on whisky and other spirits
* Duty on ordinary cider frozen. Beer duty cut by 1p a pint.
PERSONAL TAXATION & SAVINGS
* Personal tax allowance to be raised to £10,500 next year, resulting in £800 income tax reduction for typical taxpayer.
* Transferable tax allowance for married couples to rise to £1,050.
* Cash and stocks ISAs to be merged into single New ISA with annual tax-free savings limit of £15,000 from July 1.
* Cap on Premium Bonds to be lifted from £30,000 to £40,000 in June and £50,000 in 2015
* Reform of taxation of defined contribution pensions to help 13million people from March 27.
* Tax on cash taken out of pension pot on retirement to be reduced from 55 per cent to 20 per cent.
* All tax restrictions on pensioners’ access to their pension pots to be removed, ending the requirement to buy an annuity.
* Abolition of 10p starting rate of tax on income from savings.