A hundred readers got Budget right: Changes in VAT stumped most of the quiz contestants who tried to guess what the Chancellor had in his red box

GIFTS of prophecy are not given to many - except, apparently, when it comes to readers of The Independent and Independent on Sunday's Money pages. Thousands of readers entered our Budget quiz and over a hundred got all 10 questions right.

Gifts of free prizes are given to even fewer - and only two of our crystal ball gazers will be rewarded for their endeavours.

Second out of the winners' hat was Andrew Johnson from Glasgow. His ability to read Norman Lamont's mind no doubt comes in useful in his work as a tax consultant for accountants Touche Ross. A non- smoker, Mr Johnson will be donating his prize of 20 Raffles cigarettes ( pounds 2.07 at pre-Budget prices, pounds 2.17 post-Budget) to a friend who smokes.

Dr Ian Budden of Ealing, West London, who was first out of the hat to win a case of champagne from the sponsors of the competition, the accountants Coopers & Lybrand, will no doubt be sharing his winnings.

Dr Budden, an administrator with London University, said he was disappointed by the budget - especially by the imposition of VAT on household fuel - so he may take some consolation in his winnings. 'There were no real surprises,' he said. 'It was taxation by stealth.'

Most of those who tripped up were caught out by the questions on VAT.

The racecard for the competition - the pre-Budget forecast by Coopers & Lybrand - held some good bets. Its nap was the self-assessment of personal tax for the self-employed, and it romped home - but the question was not in the quiz. But revision of the basis for taxing company cars had been rated as 3-1, and also proved to be a winner.

New rules for valuing employee benefits, also at 3-1, can be judged to have crossed the finishing line. The Chancellor codified the tax treatment of employees who are allowed to take home the company van - a charge as if income was boosted by pounds 500 - and he confirmed that a company's provision of sport or recreation facilities for use by staff would not be taxed.

Increased relief for Lloyd's 'names' had been marked as a 10-1 chance, and we own up to bowling a googly when we asked people to decide this one. In fact, extra relief was given - but it was offset by other less favourable measures and the net effect was not an extension of relief to Lloyd's members.

For the most part there can be little dispute about the judges' interpretation of the Budget itself and of the quiz answers. We brook no dispute and - in the tradition of Chancellors - proclaim our position to be unassailable.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Affiliates & Partnerships

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This multi-award winning foreig...

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor