Budget 1999: Case Study: The Investors - `A gain for us on all fronts'

Leonard Taylor, 70, and his wife Rachel, 75. They receive pounds 1,400 a month from private and state pensions. They have savings of pounds 24,000 in Virgin Direct Income Peps and stocks and shares. Their outgoings are minimal with no mortgage.

Mrs Taylor, a former nursing sister, was delighted and could find nothing to object to. Her husband, a retired policeman, was slightly upset that their car, a Mazda, did not qualify as a small car and they would not be eligible for the reduction in excise duty - and would be hit by the increase in petrol.

But the couple will benefit from the increases in capital gains tax and inheritance tax.

"It means we can sell a little bit more and gives us more leeway with the estate," she said.

Their house is worth about pounds 180,000 and the increase in inheritance tax by pounds 8,000 to pounds 231,000 means they will will not have to pay so much in duties.

"It was a wonderful Budget and it was very kind to pensioners," she said.

Their state pensions will increase from pounds 97 a week to pounds 120 a week for the two of them which, they said, makes for a "good pub lunch".

"We are not big spenders. We don't drink or smoke and our outgoings are very low really. We are very interested in the new National Savings bond and I think we will probably move some money out of the building society where it is affected by interest rates and tax."

Mrs Taylor was particularly pleased about the announcement that the Government will give pounds 30 extra to those who donate pounds 100 to charity.

"We support an old Gurkha in Nepal and it's nice to think that they will be able to eat better because our donation will be increased by the Government.

"I do think William Hague will have a job to complain about any of this. There is nothing to complain about except by being ungrateful."

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