20/03/2013

UK Growth Forecast Cut By Half In New Budget

Despite the UK’s growth forecasts being downgraded, Chancellor George Osborne has insisted his economic plan is working.

A planned fuel duty has been cancelled and corporation tax has been cut to 20%, in a package of measures the chancellor says is aimed at "those who want to work and get on".

Alcohol duty rises have also been cancelled and the price of beer cut by 1p a pint.

In a Commons described as "rowdy", Osborne said he wanted to "level" with people about "hard decisions" that had to be taken, saying, "we are, slowly but surely, fixing our country's economic problems".

His economic forecast for growth in 2013 is now 0.6%; half the 1.2% he predicted four months ago in his autumn statement.

The UK's national debt will also rise to 85% of GDP and won’t start coming down until 2017/18 - a year later than previously predicted.

A £10,000 income tax threshold will be introduced in 2014, a year earlier than planned, aimed at helping "hard working" people on low incomes.

And in a move Mr Osborne described as "taking tax off jobs", small businesses will get a £2,000 allowance for firms before paying employer National Insurance contributions.

There will also be an extension of shared equity schemes to help homebuyers.

And while keeping its 2% inflation target, the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee had been given an updated broader remit.

Responding to some of the measures revealed in the Budget Labour leader Ed Miliband attacked it as a "more of the same Budget from a downgraded chancellor".

(H)


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

10 July 2008
Road Users Face Car Tax Hike
Motorists are facing road tax increases of up to £245, the Government has announced. The Treasury said on Wednesday that almost half of all drivers - about nine million - will be hit with significant rises in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) on cars with larger engines.
25 April 2005
Labour attacks Conservative economic policy
Labour have emphasised their focus on a strong economy today, as the party continued to criticise the Conservatives economic policy.
03 October 2011
Councils To Be Offered Tax Freeze: Osborne
The Conservative Party Conference, today featuring speeches from the Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, in Manchester is now in progress. Running from October 2-5, already, a council tax freeze in England to 2012-13 has been unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne at the event.
30 November 2010
Corporation Tax Reform To Create 'Competition'
The Government has published details of its Corporate Tax Reform programme consisting of a series of essential reforms designed to improve the UK's tax competitiveness. Measures include the introduction of new Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rules and a commitment to introduce a Patent Box.
11 August 2003
Inland Revenue highlights tax credits uptake
Of the six million families expected to benefit from the Child and Working Tax Credits, more than 5.7 million families are doing so already, according to the Inland Revenue (IR). Over 250,000 more tax credit awards were put in place over the last four weeks alone, the IR said.