Budget 1999: Case Study: Higher Dual-Income Family - `Comfortably off-- but this will leave us even better off'

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The Independent Online
Mark Yeandle, 36, and his wife Jane, 35, are from Lewisham, south- east London. Mr Yeandle is a sales marketing manager and has a company car. Mrs Yeandle is also a marketing manager and has her own car. Annual income is pounds 55,000 to pounds 75,000 combined. They have a seven-month-old baby. Their outgoings are around pounds 2,000 a month, including a mortgage of pounds 1,050.

MARK AND Jane Yeandle would admit to being comfortably off. Between them their annual income exceeds pounds 60,000 and both have good jobs in marketing. Since the birth of their son Freddie seven months ago Mrs Yeandle - who uses her maiden name Hagell - only works three days a week.

Yesterday's Budget is likely to leave the Yeandles better off. "I have not worked out all the details, but compared to other recent budgets this seems to be pretty good," said Mr Yeandle.

While the couple will lose a certain amount of money as a result of the scrapping of the married person's allowance, he believes this should be compensated for by the increase in universal child benefit and the introduction of the working families tax credit.

The couple share four to five bottles of wine a week, so they were pleased to note there was no increase in duty. Mr Yeandle was also pleased to see that the reduction of car licence fees for vehicles with engines smaller than 1,100 cc will apply to his wife's car. Mr Yeandle will also benefit by pounds 80 from the dropping of taxation on mobile phones provided by companies.

Mr Yeandle was worried about the plans to penalise company car drivers. Gordon Brown said he was trying to encourage the use of fuel-efficient cars - a reform that will cost the typical company car user, such as Mr Yeandle, about pounds 1 a week.

To cut pollution, employees will from this year be able to get tax-free benefits from employer-run or employer-subsidised buses, car-share schemes and other environmentally-friendly ways of getting to work, Mr Brown said.

Away from their personal circumstances, Mr Yeandle said he was pleased that there was more money for the health service.

He said: "I think there is still a chronic shortage of funds for schools and hospitals, especially in London. I realise it is easy to stand on one's high horse and say the Government should put an extra two pence on income tax to pay for these things. I realise it would not be a vote winner."