George Osborne presented his third budget on Wednesday 21 March 2012.
In his statement he said that this year's Budget "reaffirms our unwavering commitment to deal with Britain's record debts". But how far does this budget allow for the stimulation of growth that Britain really needs?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne yesterday unveiled a range of measures that left no doubt that the "age of austerity" is not yet over - though thanks to a steady stream of pre-Budget announcements and leaks, Mr Osborne had little to offer in the way of surprises.
The three overriding areas were as follows:
- Creating a stable economy
- Implementing a fairer, more efficient and simpler tax system
- Further reforms to support growth
Some of these changes highlighted in the Budget will apply from 21 March 2012 and some take effect at a later date, so the timing needs to be carefully considered.
Main Budget proposals
- The personal allowance will be increased to £9,205 in 2013/14, but the higher rate threshold will be reduced by £1,025 to £41,450.
- There will be an additional 1% cut in the main rate of corporation tax from 26 % to 24 % in April 2012 - this will be further reduced to 23 % in April 2013 and to 22 % in April 2014
- As expected, from 2013/14 there will be a drop in the higher rate of income tax from 50% to 45%.
- There will be a limit on the maximum amount of income tax reliefs that can be claimed from 2013/14.
- The so-called 'mansion tax' has taken the form of higher stamp duty on house sales over £2 million.
- Child benefit is to be phased out where income is over £50,000.
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