Brewers, pubs and drinkers in the East Midlands will take cheer from the Budget after the Chancellor announced a 1p cut in the price of a pint for the second year running.
George Osborne also announced the fuel duty rise planned for September will not take place but tobacco duty will rise by two per cent above inflation, and the escalator extended for the rest of the next Parliament.
He hailed the success of the coalition’s austerity plan as he delivered his fifth Budget today - insisting the Government will be back in the black by 2018.
But Labour leader Ed Miliband said the Government was overseeing more tax cuts for the richest while everyone else gets squeezed, saying “working people are worse off under the Tories, living standards down month after month”.
What will the budget mean for the East Midlands?
Key points released today by the Cabinet Office say:
The budget will mean 201,000 people in East Midlands will be taken out of income tax altogether when the Personal Allowance rises to 10k this April, and another 22,000 will come out of tax when the allowance rises again to £10.5k, as announced in this year’s Budget. 1,780,000 people will see an average real terms gain of £61
Apprenticeships Grant for Employers (AGE) will be expanded in 2014-15 and extended to 2015-16. This will build on 3,760 apprenticeship grant payments up to July 2013
Extending the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme to 2020. The scheme has already supported 1,476 purchases of new homes in East Midlands
From Autumn 2015, tax-free childcare will cover 20 per cent of working families’ childcare costs up to a limit of £10,000 a year. This will help 460,000 children in working families in East Midlands with 25 hours of childcare a week for a child under two saving on average £943 a year.
£140m floods package will include repairs to floodgates in Skegness and Lincolnshire
Every business in East Midlands will benefit from the capping of the carbon price support rate announced today. Particularly energy intensive industries will also benefit from compensation for higher energy costs caused by government energy policy. They include Boal UK Ltd, Sapa Profiles UK Ltd, SCA Hygiene Products UK Ltd, Sofidel UK.
Seven Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants in East Midlands are likely to benefit from Government support announced in the Budget. They include Weetabix, Alliance Boots, British Sugar, Nottingham University Hospital Hospitals NHS Trust.
The business energy package in total will be worth at least £318 million in the East Midlands.
Announced at last year’s Budget and starting this April, the new Employment Allowance will offer £2,000 cash to up to 87,000` employers in East Midlands
Seven businesses in East Midlands will also benefit from the doubling of the annual investment allowance to £500,000 until the end of 2015.
£20m Regional Air Connectivity Fund will encourage airlines to start flying new routes from regional airports to increase connectivity and boost local economies, includes East Midlands International airport.
Nationally, measures announced by Chancellor George Osborne include:
Bingo duty will be halved to 10 per cent to protect jobs and communities,
Air-passenger duty for long-haul flights will be “reformed” from 2015.
There will be no income tax next year at all on the first £10,500 of salaries.
Mr Osborne said he wanted to help savers by dramatically increasing the simplicity, flexibility and generosity of ISAs, merging cash and stocks ISAs to create a single New ISA, by increasing the annual limit to £15,000.
He also announced the most far-reaching reform to the taxation of pensions since 1921 - removing all remaining tax restrictions on how pensioners have access to their pension pots,
Mr Osborne said he was “determined” that the HS2 rail link should go “further north faster”.
He announced £200 million to be made available for councils to repair potholes and £20 million to support cathedral repairs.
The “Help-to-buy” scheme is also to be extended to the end of decade to build 120,000 new homes.
Measures to: “cut the cost of manufacturing in Britain” were also revealed.
The alcohol industry said the move to reduce tax will protect 7,000 jobs, mainly of younger people working in pubs and bars.
The Chancellor said the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was now predicting a 0.2 per cent surplus in 2018/19, meaning that he could deliver boosts to hardworking families and savers.
But he stressed that he would not loosen the purse strings despite economic growth being revised up, and the Government would keep “”putting Britain right”.
“I can report today that the economy is continuing to recover - and recovering faster than forecast,” Mr Osborne told MPs.
“We set out our plan. And together with the British people, we held our nerve. We’re putting Britain right.
“But the job is far from done. Our country still borrows too much. We still don’t invest enough, export enough or save enough.
“So today we do more to put that right. This is a Budget for building a resilient economy.
“If you’re a maker, a doer or a saver, this Budget is for you.”
Mr Osborne added: “It is all part of a long-term economic plan - a plan that is delivering security for the people of this country.
“In 2018/19 we won’t be borrowing at all. We will have a small surplus of almost £5 billion.
“Taken together, these new figures mean Britain will be borrowing £24 billion less than was forecast. That’s more than we spend in an entire year on the police and criminal justice system.”
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