18 Mar 2015

Budget 2015: what was in it?

George Osborne makes his final pitch to voters with a handout to savers and first time buyers.

In his final Budget before the general election, the chancellor announced a new personal allowance which would mean 95% of all savers would pay no tax on their savings.

Read more: no big giveaways despite stronger growth

And he said that he was creating a new help-to-buy ISA which would see the government add £50 to every £200 first-time buyers put away towards a deposit.

He confirmed tax cuts via a rise in personal allowances, cut beer, cider and spirit duties, and again scrapped the fuel duty rise.

What is in the budget?

  • Annual savings limit for ISA increased to £15,240 and fully flexible ISA created
  • New Help to Buy ISA for first-time buyers allows government to top-up by £50 every £200 saved for a deposit
  • 1p a pint off beer duty, but duties on tobacco and gaming unchanged
  • Cider duty cut by 2 per cent and duty on Scotch Whisky and other spirits cut by 2 per cent. Wine duty frozen
  • Fuel duty increase which was scheduled for September cancelled
  • Income tax personal allowance to rise to £10,800 next year and £11,000 the year after, making typical working taxpayer £900 a year better off
  • Pension pot lifetime allowance to be reduced from £1.25m to £1m from next year, saving £600m annually
  • Annual tax return abolished. Class two national insurance contributions for self-employed to be abolished in next parliament
  • Above inflation rise in threshold for 40p income tax rate from £42,385 this year to £43,300 by 2017/18
  • Farmers to be allowed to average incomes for tax purposes over five years
  • Funding provided for “major expansion” of mental health services for children and those suffering from maternal mental illness
  • Measures on tax avoidance and evasion to raise £3.1bn over the forecast period
  • Review on the use of deeds of variation to avoid inheritance tax to report by the autumn
  • Chancellor announces £1m to buy defibrillators for public places, including schools
  • Go-ahead for £60m investment in energy research accelerator in the Midlands, with new national energy catapult to be in Birmingham.
  • Support for automotive industry including investment of £100 million for driverless technology and reduced rate of increase in company car tax for low-emission vehicles – with other vehicle rates rising by 3 per cent in 2019/20
  • Introduction of the first 20 housing zones for construction and extension of eight enterprise zones across Britain, with new zones in Plymouth and Blackpool
  • Up to £600m to clear new spectrum bands for auction to improve mobile networks
  • Employers national insurance for under 21s abolished from this April and for young apprentices from next April
  • Major review of business rates system and reduction in the annual investment allowance to be set at a rate “much more generous” than £25,000