Budget 2013. Excitement waiting to happen.

So that was the 2013 Budget. Despite even George having to admit that his plan for economic growth hasn't really worked out, he is stubbornly sticking to his plan of action and yesterday unveiled a Budget of, well, not very much really.

The headline giveaways (particularly the front page tweeted by the London Evening Standard before George even stood up) are:

a 1p cut in beer duty

scrapping of the upcoming fuel duty rise

an increase in the personal allowance (tax-free amount) to £10,000- from April 2014

tax relief on (some of) your childcare costs

Not exactly thrilling stuff. The childcare announcement was actually made yesterday, and allows working parents who do not qualify for tax credits/Universal credit to get tax relief at 20% on up to £6,000 of childcare costs, per child, starting with children under 5, but will be extended to include costs for those up to age 12. The beer tax is probably a direct result of serious lobbying by the beer industry, but duty on wine, spirits and cigarettes has gone up by 2% over inflation. So far so good if you are a real ale drinker with children.

The news that the personal allowance will increase to £10,000 was described as a "coup" for the LibDems, the £10k allowance being their only discernable effect on the coalition Government's policies. Still, £10k from 2014/15 is hardly big news- the tax free amount goes up to £9,440 this April meaning the magic £10k is only a less than 6% increase. Given the amount automatically increases with inflation every year (in the absence of other legislation), that recent inflation measures have been as high as 5.2% and the fact that the last increase was over 16%, £10,000 from 2014/15 is decidedly non-news.

But there were other crumbs of interest. Two new mortgage schemes will offer those with a 5% deposit a Government backed loan to get them up to 20% (presumably so they can get a decent mortgage), with a guaranteed lending scheme for those without a deposit to try and force lender to lend them a single bean. Employer's National Insurance also features, with a £2,000 allowance for employers meaning they can "hire someone on £22,000, or four people on the minimum wage, and pay no jobs tax," hopefully getting more people back to work. Corporation tax rates will fall quicker than previously advised, meaning that a tiny company with one employee with pay the same rate of corporation tax as big business from next year. This is to signify that Britain is open for business, not that Britain's business is wide open for entries from tax-dodging multinationals. After all, we are getting a General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) too.

But all in all, the Budget has been received as unexciting, unimaginative and probably ineffective. Let's just hope George knows what he's doing.

Still, this handy infographic compiled by the Guardian from HM Treasury data shows just who is proportionately paying the most- based on percentage change in income. It's mostly not well-off people. So perhaps everything is running to plan after all...



  • Mustapha S.
    Actually this is has turned out pretty well. I can now take on a couple of other staff, which I was anyway but now will be cheaper, the amount of cash I can pay myself tax free goes up and the pub across the road from my office will be a cheaper place to visit. By about 4p a lunchtime. Considering the times, this is a fecking good budget.
  • Hello
    WTF is the point of knocking a penny off a pint. So I go to the pub and if a pints £3, I drink 300 pints to get one free. Like pubs are going to reduce the prices anyway!
  • Mike O.
    I was hoping for a 50p reduction in fuel duty. Do I win £5?
  • Inspector G.
    So can I expect all the bars and pubs to be dropping their prices by 1p? They'd better get a few bags of pennies in from the bank for all the change they'll be giving out now.
  • Terry
    The price drop in beer may only be a penny, but think about it on a much larger scale. Pubs are dying, and this will help them; even if it is just a little.
  • Strawbear
    If you're a stay at home parents can you set yourself up as a childminder and charge your other half six grand to look after the offspring?
  • god
    wgat a load of crap pubs aint going to put the prices down anyway
  • Spencer
    I could be mistaken, but I was always told there were different types of tax changes... some (such a 1p rise/fall) are not for the consumer/public. Others such as a 30p rise in fags are aimed at consumers. What I'm saying is, it's not designed to make beer 1p cheaper... it's designed to help pubs and landlords save some money as the industry is flailing and dying on its arse. It's an attempt to help save them a few quid and keep them open and save their jobs...
  • Aunt B.
    My Yorkshire puddings will be staying the same price, but I will be putting my roast potatoes and gravy granules up by 2p each. Thank you
  • Basil F.
    I bet the MP's wage just falls in the right place on that graph :-)

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