There were no seismic changes in George Osborne’s latest Budget, but the Chancellor revealed a wide range of new policies that will affect the nation’s finances.
So who stands to gain the most from this year’s speech – and who will be hit hardest?
Read our Budget summary here.
Savers and investors
A significant increase in the ISA allowance from April 2017 to £20,000 is a big boost to savers and investors – and so is the imminent cut in capital-gains tax, which applies to investment profits made outside an ISA. This falls from 18% to 10% for basic-rate taxpayers on 6 April this year, and from 28% to 20% for higher-rate taxpayers.
Many pension savers will also appreciate the fact that there were no new complications or potentially costly reforms of the tax-relief system.
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The new Lifetime ISA, which is due to be launched next April, allows younger savers to put up to £4,000 a year aside while benefitting from a Government top-up worth 25%. The money can be used to buy a first home or to help cover the costs of retirement.
Speculation had been rife before the Budget that Osborne would raise fuel duty for the first time in six years – a distinct possibility given the currently low oil price. But instead, the ongoing freeze in the tax will continue.
Browse our motoring articles here.
Part-time landlords and online sellers
Anyone who rents out property or a spare room on websites such as Airbnb will be allowed to make £1,000 a year free of income tax, according to proposals made by the Chancellor. The same allowance will apply to sales made through online auction sites, such as eBay.
Fizzy drinks fans
From 2018, the Government will introduce a new sugar tax on soft drinks – and chances are, most of this burden will be passed on to consumers. The tax is being drawn up to help fight against the increase in childhood obesity.
The Chancellor has made another increase to insurance premium tax (IPT): it rose from 6% to 9.5% last autumn and is set to hit 10% in October this year.
The tax applies to general insurance policies such as motor and home cover.
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Osborne also promised action to address the tax-avoidance schemes employed by many major international companies which operate in the UK. He said that, while such businesses were welcome in Britain, they had to pay their fair share when it came to tax.
For more useful information and money saving tips, browse our articles.