Chancellor George Osborne delivered his fourth budget to the House of Commons today. Here are the key points from his speech:
Growth forecast revised down by 0.6% to 0.6% in 2013. But Britain is predicted to avoid a triple-dip recession. Growth of 1.8% in 2014 and 2.3% the year after.
National debt will hit 85% of GDP and will not start falling until 2017-18, a year later than expected.
There will be an £11bn underspend this year by Government departments.
Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee receives updated remit, but keeps 2% inflation target., but allowing “unconventional monetary instruments” to support economy while keeping inflation stable.
Government will seek £11.5bn of savings in the spending review for next year, £1.5bn more than previously looked for.
Whitehall departments cut 1% of spending over two years, raising £2.5bn for capital spending. Health, schools and HM Revenue and Customs departments not affected by cuts.
Spending of 0.7% of national income in overseas aid pledge renewed.
The 1% cap on public sector pay will be extended for another year.
Progression pay – the automatic annual pay rise for people moving up the scale - will be targeted but will not affect the military.
Money from Libor fines have gone to Armed Forces to support mental health charities for veterans.
Infrastructure - extra £3bn a year from 2015/6, a total of £15bn over the next decade. This is the money saved from Whitehall cuts.
Around 15,000 more homes are to be built.
New tax incentives for manufacture of ultra-low emission vehicles. A "generous" new tax regime to promote early investment shale gas - tax regime - shale gas field allowance to promote early investment.
[Related: The Budget 2013: The Winners]
Tax-free allowance £10,000 brought forward to 2014.
A 6p rise on a pint of beer will be scrapped and beer duty will be cut by 1p. The government will also abolish the beer duty escalator but all other alcohol rises are still in place.
The 3p per litre increase in fuel duty which was scheduled for September has been cancelled.
Stamp duty on shares traded on growth markets like AIM has been abolished.
Corporation tax cut to 20% from April 2015. The bank levy rate to increase from 0.13% to 0.142% next year to off-set reductions in corporate tax.
Capital gains tax holiday to be extended.
New measures on tax avoidance will bring in £3bn. The Government will also name and shame promoters of tax avoidance schemes.
Cap-on social care costs to come in 2017 and protect savings above £72,000, with the threshold for means tested help raised from £23,000 to £118,000.
Flat rate pension of £144 a week to be brought forward and introduced in 2016.
Working families to receive up to £1,200 a child towards childcare costs. The policy will not come into effect until Autumn 2015.
Business and Housing
Double to £10,000 the size of loans that employers can offer tax-free to pay for items such as season tickets for commuters. Osborne announced tax relief to encourage private investment in social enterprise.
Help to Buy scheme introduced. This has two components - Equity loans worth up to 20% of the property value to be made available to anyone looking to move up the housing ladder, interest free for the first five years. Only applicable to homes under £600,000. The second component is mortgages. A new mortgage guarantee available to lenders to provide loans to those who can't afford a big deposit. This will encourage lending worth £130bn, from 2014 for three years.
New Employment Allowance will take the first £2,000 off the Employer National Insurance bill of every company in the country. Around 450,000 small business will pay no employer National Insurance at all.