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Budget March 2015 - At a Glance

posted 19 Mar 2015, 11:25 by Richard White   [ updated 26 May 2015, 04:46 ]

Introduction

The Chancellor announced his "Britain is walking tall again" budget today and it does seem there are lots of things to be positive about:

    • The economy grew by 2.6% in 2014 - faster than any other advanced economy. The UK growth forecast for 2015 has been revised upwards from 2.3% a year ago to 2.5%.
    • Unemployment fell by 102,000 in the three months to January 2015 and the employment rate is 73.3% - the highest level since comparable records began in 1971. Unemployment is predicted to fall from 5.7% at the end of 2014 to 5.3% this year.
    • Falling world food and oil prices mean that inflation forecasts are revised down to 0.2% for 2015. The Chancellor confirmed the consumer price index inflation target remains at 2%.
    • The Chancellor plans to use funds from bank sales, lower interest charges on government gilts and a smaller welfare bill to pay down the national debt.

Business

  • Corporation Tax - The main rate for corporation tax will be cut to 20% from April 2015
  • National Insurance - Businesses will no longer have to pay NICs for employees under-21 from April 2015. They wall also be abolished for apprentices under 25 from April 2016
  • Business Rates - Small business relief will be extended until April 2016. Inflation linked increases to business rates will be capped at 2% until April 2016
  • Diverted Profits Tax - A new tax aimed at large companies that artificially shift profits offshore will come into effect from 1 April 2015
  • Entrepreneurs Relief - Entrepreneurs relief will only be available to those selling genuine stakes in businesses
  • Bank Levy - The annual bank levy will be raised to 0.21%
  • Travel & Subsistence - Relief will be restricted for individuals working through intermediaries such as umbrella companies from April 2016
  • Farmers - Farmers will now be able to average their income over 5 years for tax purposes from April 2016
  • Help to Buy ISA - The Help to Buy ISA is designed to help first time buyers save for a deposit on their first property
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