'The cost of health is high. It has to come from people who are working'

Case Study: Young Professional Couple
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The Independent Online

The Jenkins – Clare, 36, a dentist, and Dean, 35, a consultant, from Cardiff.

Family: Three children, aged nine, five and three.

Income: £80,000.

Cars: Rover 25 and a VW Passat 1.9 diesel.

Personal pension: Between £200 and £400 per month.

Investments: £3,000 invested in Isas and shares.

Politics: Labour, Liberal Democrat.

For Clare and Dean Jenkins this Budget was more of a moral, rather than a personal, victory. As a doctor and a dentist, both of them believed strongly that extra investment was needed in the health service.

"People expect more now and at the present level of funding we cannot provide that all-encompassing service," Mrs Jenkins said. Yesterday her husband, a locum consultant, welcomed a boost in spending on the NHS. "I am a Liberal Democrat supporter and they were talking about funding the health service with a penny on income tax and that is really what we wanted. Why has it taken the Labour Government so long to do it? People need to know the cost of health and it is high. It has to come from people who are working," he said.

He also welcomed other measures. "An independent audit would be great. That's really want we wanted for the health service. We have to be aware of performance. Simplistic league tables don't necessarily help, but I am all in favour of an independent review."

On a personal level, the couple are likely to be more than £400 worse off per year. The slight increase in income tax personal allowances will simply benefit them by a negligible £50 per year while the increase in national insurance contributions will cost them an extra £450.

And, because theirjoint income is higher than £58,000, the couple, who have three young children, will not benefit from the increases in the working families tax credit. However, Mrs Jenkins' habit of cycling to her part-time job will bring in a little more money as she will now be able to claim minimal mileage allowance from her employer.

Dr Jenkins – who recently set up his own website on postgraduate medical studies – will enjoy some tax benefits. With a turnover of less than £150,000, he will be eligible from April for the new flat rate of VAT, which will reduce the cost and time of working it out. And, should he pay it late, he will no longer be subject to any fine as they have been abolished for small companies. He will also be able to write off bad debt sooner, within six months.

Having owned the company for just over two years, he will also be able to qualify for taper relief and a reduced rate of capital gains tax – from 40 per cent to 10 per cent – if he chooses to sell it immediately rather than having to wait another two years.

"I have a small business, a medical education company, so I was also in favour of the tax reduction for small business," Dr Jenkins said yesterday. "Basically I am pleased with the Budget but as with Gordon Brown's Bbudgets generally, it would be nice if they could be more straightforward."

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