George Osborne has announced his final budget before the May 2015 elections with an increase in the tax-free allowance amongst the offerings.
The main points are:
The tax-free personal allowance (the amount people earn before they have to start paying tax) is being increased in April 2017 to £11,000. This is up from £10,800 in 2016-17.
The rate of the new transferable tax allowance for married couples will rise to £1,100 from next month.
The annual tax return will be abolished. The information HMRC needs will be automatically uploaded into new digital tax accounts.
The fuel duty increase scheduled for September has been cancelled.
There will be another 1p off a pint, a 2% cut for spirits and most ciders, and a freeze on duty on wine.
The National Minimum Wage will rise by 20p an hour to £6.70 from October 2015.
Employers National Insurance
To help businesses April 2015 will see the abolishment of National Insurance for employing under 21s and April 2016 it will be abolished for employing a young apprentice.
Corporation tax will be cut to 20% in two weeks’ time.
From April 2016, a tax-free allowance of £1,000 (or £500 for higher rate taxpayers) will be introduced for the interest that you earn on savings. So if you are a basic rate taxpayer and have a total income up to £42,700 a year, you will be eligible for the £1,000 tax-free savings allowance.
Introduction of a Help to Buy ISA. Every £200 you save towards your first home, the government will put in an extra £50, up to a maximum bonus of £3000.
If you have an ISA you will be able to take money out of it and put it back in later in the year (up to £15,240).
Up to five million pensioners will be given the freedom to sell their annuity for a cash lump sum.
An extra £1.25 billion will be spent on mental health services for children and new mums – apparently helping more than 110,000 people.
Help for Charities
The amount of small donations charities can get an extra 25% top up payment on in gift aid without needing any paperwork is increasing from £5,000 to £8,000 a year.
Help for Farmers
Farmers will have more time to average their profits for income tax by extending the period from two to five years, and will give farmers additional security as they typically have volatile profits due to uncontrollable factors such as the weather.
Help for Local Newspapers
The government will consult on a tax relief for local newspapers.
Help for Churches
The £15 million Church Roof Fund to support church roof appeals has been heavily oversubscribed so is being trebled.
£1 million is to be set aside to help buy defibrillators for public places, including schools, and support training in their use to save more lives.
For the full Budget 2015 speech go to: