Chancellor George Osborne said his 2013 Budget will help people “work hard and get on”. And what do you know, a few people will actually be better off as a result of these plans.
[Budget 2013: The key points]
Here’s who can be considered a winner:
[The losers can be found here]
Beer has been made exempt from the current alcohol tax escalator and 1p has also been cut off the current duty. So cheaper pints all round.
A planned 3p rise in fuel duty scheduled for September has been scrapped by the Chancellor altogether.
A new ‘Help To Buy’ initiative was announced. This is divided into two parts.
First, from 2014 £130 billion will be available as part of a new mortgage guarantee available to all home buyers who want to buy a home old or new, but can’t afford the deposit, up to the value of £600,000.
The scheme will run for three years.
The second part is opening the current FirstBuy scheme to all buyers - it’s currently only available to first-time buyers.
Up to £3.5 billion will be made available so that under the scheme buyers can take a loan worth up to 20% of a new-build home to anyone looking to move up the ladder. The loan is interest free for the first five years.
There will also be plans to build an extra 15,000 affordable homes.
The Right To Buy scheme, which allows long-term tenants to buy their council-built home, will also been extended.
The Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme has also been extended.
From 2014 the amount you can earn before you start to pay tax, known as the income tax-threshold, will rise to £10,000.
Currently at £8,105 it will rise to £9,440 from next month.
Workers approaching retirement
It was confirmed that an overhaul of the state pension was announced earlier this year has been brought forward a year to 2016. Under the new arrangements the basic minimum will increase from £107.45 to approximately £144.
Plans to extend tax-breaks on childcare were confirmed. Leaked prior to the Budget, the new system will allow parents to claim tax relief of 20% off the first £6,000 of the cost - worth £1,200 a year for each child.
The tax-break is only available where both parents are working, or the sole parent in a single-parent household, and each earn under £150,000 a year.
The break will be available to parents with children under five from 2015, and will be rolled out to children under 12 by 2020.
Parents saving with Child Trust Funds
Parents lumbered with the redundant Child Trust Funds (CTF) will be able to switch their money into Junior ISAs. The latter replaced the former in 2011, as the tax-free method for child savings.
Until now, parents with CTFs have not been able to switch to so-called JISAs, where the products are far more competitive and allow parents to get a potentially better rate of return on savings.
Corporation tax is to be cut further to 20% in 2015, after dropping to 21% in 2014.
An employment allowance has been made available, which will mean that no national insurance will be paid on the first £22,000 of wages paid.
A number of new measures to help small businesses have been announced, including growth vouchers and controls on regulators’ charges.
Tax relief on benefits to employees, such as loans for season travel, will be extended.
There will also be Capital Gains Tax relief on sales of business shares to workers.
Stamp duty has also been abolished on shares traded on start-up markets, such as the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
Equitable Life savers
Those who bought an Equitable Life with-profits policy before 1992, will benefit from ex-gratia payments of £5,000 and an extra £5,000 for those on lowest incomes.
The kick the economy so badly needs has been pinned on investment in major construction projects.
Therefore, infrastructure will be boosted by £3 billion from 2016 - a total of £15 billion over the next decade.
New tax regimes will be created for early investment in shale gas.
Rejoice! The beloved hot pastry snack has been left well alone this year, after last year’s proposed levy on pasties and other food cooked to cool down. The decision resulted in uproar and a subsequent u-turn. Osborne has apparently learnt his lesson and left it well alone this year.
[Full coverage of Chancellor George Osborne's 2013 Budget speech]