Cumbria Budget reaction 2013
Last updated at 16:46, Thursday, 21 March 2013
BEER drinkers and drivers were celebrating yesterday after chancellor George Osborne spared them from a tax rise.
And families also received a boost in yesterday’s Budget announcement, with tax-free childcare vouchers worth £1,200 provided for each child and more support for families with children on universal credit.
However, public-sector workers will see the one per cent cap on increases in their pay extended another year into 2015/16.
A help-to-buy scheme will see up to 20 per cent of mortgages for newly-built homes valued up to £600,000 provided as an equity loan by the government.
Mr Osborne also announced that he will spend an extra £3bn a year on infrastructure projects to create jobs.
Despite the cut in beer duty, planned rises for all other alcohol duties go ahead.
A new employment allowance will take the first £2,000 off employer National Insurance contributions for every company.
The rise in the personal allowance to £10,000 is brought forward to 2014, meaning that no-one pays income tax on the first £10,000 of earnings.
Mr Osborne said the economy would grow by just 0.6 per cent this year – down from the previous forecast of 1.2 per cent.
However, he argued there were “no easy answers” to the country’s economic problems.
He said: “This is a budget for people who aspire to work hard and get on.
“It’s a budget for people who realise there are no easy answers to problems built up over many years, just the painstaking work of putting right what went so badly wrong.”
Reacting to the statement, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “This is the chancellor’s fourth Budget but one thing unites them all – every Budget, he comes to this House and things are worse not better for this country.”
First published at 12:33, Thursday, 21 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
‘Average family could be better off’ – expert
AN average Barrow family is made up of two adults in their thirties with two children of school age, with the father working full time and earning £19,000 a year, whilst the mother has a part time job which brings in £8,000 a year.
They live in a three-bedroom terraced house in Barrow.
Financial advisor Martin Osborne said families with children could receive a boost from the budget.
He said: “Working families with young children could be entitled to childcare vouchers worth up to £1,200 per child from 2015. This effectively means 20 per cent tax relief up to £6,000 per child.
“The chancellor announced that from April 2014 no tax would be payable on the first £10,000 of income receive by an individual, this has been introduced a year earlier than he had originally planned. This compares to £8,105 currently and £9,440 for the tax year 2013/14. The effect of these changes to the tax allowances will result in a family having a single earner with a salary of £30,000 paying £267 less tax next year and a further reduction of £112 in the tax year 2014/15.”
“The family spends £220 on cigarettes and £110 on alcohol a month, and yesterday’s budget won’t have a major effect on what they spend, with no rise in tobacco tax and a two per cent rise in all alcohol, bar beer which will be cut by one per cent.”
Clarity over care costs
MARTIN Osborne, general manager of Furness Financial Advisers Ltd, said the budget would give clarity to those in long-term care.
He said: “For those people who have been concerned about the future cost of long-term care, the government has finally confirmed that there will be a cap on the level of costs that an individual has to cover.
“Savings above £72,000 will be protected from the cost of care. In addition, the threshold for means tested assistance has been increased from £23,000 to £118,000.
“This is a positive step as constructive financial planning can be introduced for long-term care.”
Tourist boost hope
NICK Tate, manager of the Texaco garage in Oubas Hill, Ulverston, welcomed the scrapping of a planned 3p increase in fuel.
He said: “It is good but we would have liked to see a cut in fuel duty.
“For every litre sold, the government gets nearly 90p. It’s now such a big area of concern for people that they are having to cut back in other areas.”
Mr Tate said a fuel cut would help boost the tourism industry, as it would help attract day trippers to the area.
IT was a quiet budget for the elderly, with no announcements on heating allowances.
However, the government did confirm that a single-tier state pension would come into effect in 2016 – a year earlier than previously thought.
Margie Arts, secretary of Barrow and Furness Pensioners’ Association, said older people would be left struggling to heat their homes.
She said: “If the heating allowance isn’t increased by the amount of the price index, then that’s a shortfall from the government.”
Good news for brewer
WITH the beer tax escalator gone and the price of a pint cut by a penny, head brewer at the Hardknott Brewery in Millom, Dave Bailey, said he would be raising a glass to the announcement.
He said: “It’s good news. Obviously not only has he abolished the beer duty escalator but the planned two per cent increase is scrapped too.
“It probably equates effectively to a four per cent improvement on what we had been expecting.”
Mr Bailey added that, like all businesses, beer producers faced rising costs but the one per cent tax cut would mean that beer prices could be frozen for a year.
‘It will help improve confidence’
HARRY Knowles, chief executive of Furness Enterprise (pictured), was among those to welcome the effect the budget would have on business in Cumbria.
He said: “We hope it will boost job creation, particularly in small companies on which it is focused.
“In itself it might not make a big difference, but it will help with improving confidence, changing the mood into one of confidence and optimism in the economy, which will make people think about investment and employing new people.”
Have your say
I find your 'expert' somewhat limited in their assessment. All of the pundits in many publications seem to fail to put any focus on the eroding of the 20% upper threshold. Next week it drops by over Â£2000 and this week budget drops it again in 2014. Hence more tax taken again from millions of people. Also, it drags many more families into the reduction in child benefit as a result