Case Study: The OAP

'Help on travel and council tax will make real difference'

Betty Pavey, retired health service worker. Now works in voluntary sector at Age Concern Bournemouth.

Lives: Bournemouth. Has three grown-up children.

Age: 75

Income: State pension £150 a week.

Company benefits: Health pension £50 a month.

Outgoings: Owns home so has no mortgage, but pays maintenance charges of £200 a quarter. Council tax £50 a month, gas £21, electricity £16. Receives winter fuel allowance of £200 a year. Spends up to £10 a week on wine.

Politics: Has largely voted Tory but is now undecided.

Hopes for Budget: More for NHS andelderly; transport and support services.

Effect of Budget: £408 better off with a £260 rise in income and an extra £150 in attendance allowance.

Reaction: "I do feel pleased by the help elderly people will receive with their travel and council tax. It is certainly better than it was, but I don't think he is giving an awful lot away either. I also wonder why the petrol duty rise has been postponed until September.

"One of my concerns was inheritance tax and I am glad to see that its starting point is being raised this year and next, but the way property prices are going it will still hit people and possibly cancel out any benefits.

"I very much approve of the money given to the health service, though I wonder if it will actually go to the areas that need the funds, and I am pleased about the educational and childcare benefits. As a great grandmother I am delighted to see that there will be 15 hours' free nursery education by 2007. As a former health worker, I am glad the Chancellor has put an extra 7p on cigarettes."

Arifa Akbar

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