Case Study: The first-time buyer

'The house prices in the capital are harsh'
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The Independent Online

Nick Franklin

IT Consultant for UBS

Home: Clapham, London

Age: 23

Income: £34,000 a year

Savings: £21,000

Debts: £15,000 student debt

Company benefits: Discounted medical insurance, interest-free season ticket loans

Outgoings: £500 rent, £100 gym, £100 bills, £50 food

Politics: Labour Party member but almost quit last year over the Iraq war. Still considers quitting

Hopes for Budget: Would like to see incentives for first-time buyers as he is struggling to get on to the property ladder. Supports an increase in petrol duty to pay for public transport. Unconcerned by alcohol and other 'sin' taxes

Actual effect of Budget: Will pay £36 less income tax, but £63 extra in National Insurance

"This Budget hasn't affected me much, as I expected. I suppose the housing measures are good for me, and good for social workers and teachers who might not otherwise afford housing in city centres.

"I'll have to pay as much for a flat as my parents have for their house - the property prices in London are harsh. I guess sooner or later I'll have to bite the bullet because I'm not willing to commute, so anything the Government can do to drive down the price of housing is good for me.

"I'm hoping the measures to get civil servants out of London will do that. "I'm fairly happy with money matters overall. I'm not going to whinge about poor public services and taxes being high. I support investment in public services and, in principle, would be prepared to accept income tax increases after the next general election because of spending now. In practice, though, I probably wouldn't see the benefits, as I have private health cover and no kids.

"I think the best idea is the one the Lib Dems had for a separate tax bracket, of 50 per cent, for those who earn more than £100,000 a year. Taxing people on low incomes any more than at the moment isn't a good idea.

"I'm very happy with the state of the economy. Two consecutive Labour governments have created stability and growth and they deserve credit. I have a lot of faith in the Chancellor as an economist.

"But even though I'm a natural Labour supporter, post-Iraq and post-Hutton I'm unsettled. I'm not sure I'd vote for them again, despite being a party member."

Oliver Duff

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