The Budget 2014 “highlights”

Today saw the 2014 budget made by George Osborne, here are the main points announced:

In his Budget speech today George Osborne made tax-free Isas more “generous” and unveiled a million new “pensioner bonds”.

The amount people earn before tax will also go up by £500 to £10,500.

The chancellor also froze petrol duty, cut bingo tax from 20% to 10%, froze Scotch whisky and cider duty and cut a further 1p from a pint of beer – but put the price of cigarettes up.

A scheme to boost exports – doubling the amount of finance available to £3bn.

An extra £140m for repairs and maintenance to flood defences and £200m for potholes.

Scrapping VAT on air ambulance services and inshore rescue boats.

Scrapping inheritance tax for members of the emergency services who “give their lives protecting us.”

A five-year cap on structural welfare spending from 2015, starting at £119bn and rising in line with inflation. It excludes pensions and Job Seekers Allowance.

Reform of air passenger duty so all long haul flights carry the same tax rate as currently charged for flights to USA.

A new “garden city” at Ebbsfleet in addition to plans for 200,000 new homes.

Stamp duty on homes worth more £500,000 to rise to 15% for those bought by companies, as part of tax avoidance measures.

Cash shares and Isas were to be merged into a single New Isa with an annual tax-free savings limit of £15,000 from 1 July. The limit for Junior Isas will be raised to £4,000.

He also outlined a new Pensioner Bond paying market leading rates to be available from January to all people over 65, with interest rates of 2.8% for one-year bonds and 4% for three-year bonds.

The cap on the amount of Premium Bonds a person can own will rise from £30,000 to £40,000 in June and £50,000 in 2015. The number of £1m winners will also be doubled.

In a move aimed at helping middle income workers, Mr Osborne said the higher rate income tax threshold will rise from £41,450 to £41,865 next month, and then by a further 1% to £42,285 next year.

Mr Osborne said “This is a Budget for building a resilient economy. If you’re a maker, a doer or a saver: this Budget is for you.” On the plans for a cap on welfare spending he said, “Britain should always be proud of having a welfare system that helps those most in need. But never again should we allow its costs to spiral out of control and its incentives to become so distorted that it pays not to work.”

In the run-up to the Budget, the government announced plans to offer up to £2,000 in subsidised childcare to working families after the next general election, a proposed rise in the hourly minimum wage to £6.50 and an extension of the Help to Buy Scheme for aspiring homebuyers.

For more information on the Budget please see the BBC news website.

So what does the budget mean for you as a family? Worse off, better off or can’t really make a decision until you see what it actually means to your day to day life? Have your say below.

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