Budget Special: Summary

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The Independent Online
1p off tax

Basic income tax rate down 1p to 23p, the 20p tax band widened by pounds 200, 40p threshold up pounds 600, personal allowances up pounds 280, and married couples' allowance up pounds 40.

Petrol up 3p

Drivers pay for environmental damage with car tax up by pounds 5 to pounds 145 a year. Petrol and diesel prices increased by 3p a litre, but tax on ultra-low sulphur diesel is reduced.

Spirits cut 26p

Concerns over under-age drinking led to 40 per cent rise in duty on alcopops. Beer and wine escape increases, but distillers celebrate with tax on spirits cut by 26p a bottle.

15p on cigarettes

Smokers are hit by inflation-busting tax increases. Duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes rises by 15p, on a packet of 10 small cigars by 7p, and on a packet of pipe tobacco by 8p.

Prescriptions rise

Falling ill will cost more. The price for each drug prescription is lifted by 15p to pounds 5.65. Maximum dental charges for a full course of treatment rise by pounds 5 to pounds 330.

Less borrowing

The Public Sector Borrowing Requirement is estimated at pounds 26.5bn for 1996/97, falling to pounds 19bn for the following year and towards zero by the turn of century.

Profits and pay

Tax relief on profit-related pay schemes will be phased out by 2000. The current pounds 4,000 upper tax limit remains until 1998 but will be reduced progessively.

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