Who says I can’t do current affairs? – Budget 2014

Hero or Zero? You decide - I'm just handing you the key facts!
Hero or Zero? You decide – I’m just handing you the key facts!

Maybe it is my political geekery or simply my own curiosity that has just led me to sit through the last 57 minutes that has made up George Osbourne’s 5th budget speech. I’m currently listening to Ed Milliband deliver his riposte (why Ed Balls is seen incapable as Shadow Chancellor I’ll never know) – he’s saying it’s the ‘Same old Tories’, he’s saying living standards have fallen. Of course they have fallen – we’ve been in an economic recession. However political allegiances aren’t for this post. This post is just me saying what I think people might need to know.

Income Tax & Personal Allowance

  • Personal allowance is going up to £10,500 in 2015.
  • The level of earnings at which taxpayers pay tax at the higher 40% rate is going up 1% this year to £41,865 and 1% again next year to £42,285.

Day to day spending

  • Fuel duty is frozen
  • Tobacco duty is going up 2% above inflation
  • Duty on Scotch Whisky is being frozen
  • Duty on ordinary cider is being frozen
  • Duty on beer is being cut by 1p a pint
  • Duty on other alcohol will go up in line with inflation – scrapping the alcohol escalator

Save, Save Save

  • Cash and Stocks & Shares ISA now combined to make just one ISA.
  • Annual ISA limit going up to £15,000 from July.
  • You will be able to invest an extra £10,000 a year in Premium Bonds this year – and another extra £10,000 next year taking the limit to £50,000.
  • A pensioner’s bond is being introduced this year, offering a projected 2.8% rate on a 1 year bond, and 4% on a 3 year bond.
  • 10% tax rate on saving is to be scrapped.

The other stuff

  • Economic growth revised up to 2.7% this year.
  • Welfare cap to be set at £119bn in 2015-16 when it will then rise in line with inflation.
  • Fixed odds betting terminals to now be charged 25% tax.
  • Bingo tax to be halved to 10%
  • Air Passenger Duty to be charged at the lower band B rate for all long haul flights, not just those to the US.

You don’t need to tell me I’ve left a whole chunk of this budget out, but essentially I’ve gone for the key facts. Now time to get saving I think!