How the Budget Affects Personal Finance
The Chancellor’s Budget has today confirmed the Government’s plan to continue efforts to reduce the country’s deficit, but to ease the strain placed on families with the cost of living.
George Osborne outlined his plans for growth and fairness for the UK, cutting fuel duty by one penny per litre from 6pm today and deferring April’s inflation only increase on fuel duty to January 1st next year.
Under 65s will also benefit from a further increase to the income tax personal allowance to £8,105, to come into effect in April 2012.
“Today’s Budget is about reforming the nation’s economy, so that we have enduring growth and jobs in the future,” said the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Deputy Speaker.
“And it’s about doing what we can to help families with the cost of living and the high oil price.”
Funding for 80,000 work experience placements for young people and an additional 50,000 apprenticeship places will be made available, aiming to aid the problem of high youth unemployment.
Other measures include help for homeowners where £250m will go towards helping first time buyers afford a new-build property, and a reduced rate of inheritance tax will be available from April next year.
“Any increase in duty would have bled many drivers on low incomes dry so this action offers short-term first aid,” commented Edmund King, the AA’s president, on the cut in fuel tax duty announced in the Budget.
The AA warns however that volatile oil prices may see the price of fuel rise again soon.
The British Property Federation (BPF) welcomes the announcements which will see first time buyers receive help getting onto the property ladder - aiding an estimated 10,000 individuals.
“This package broadly makes sense, because it targets home deposits, and is about as much as the government could realistically do in current circumstances,” commented Ian Fletcher, BBF director of policy.
However, Family Action chief executive Helen Dent criticises the Chancellor’s silence on supporting vulnerable families and children as 16 welfare cuts go ahead.
“We need a fair family stabilizer not just a fair fuel stabiliser,” said Dent.
“A strong economy doesn’t just start with small business but with strong families who can stand on their feet and are work-ready because they get the right support from services and welfare.”