‘It’s a negative message’
Jonathan Brown is a 46-year-old former journalist who now works as a senior lecturer at Teesside University. He lives with his wife, Julie, and their two children – Olivia, 10 and Lucy, eight.
I feel as if the Budget plans won’t have a direct effect on me and my family; however I am yet to see a secret kicker in there.
The 1 per cent public sector pay rise could see me worse off, especially if train fares rise and the price of my commute to work is increased. Energy inflation is bad news for my house hold, too.
I am flabbergasted that they can justify the raise in inheritance tax – a policy which is able to create a more unequal society and will only really benefit the south of England. I wonder what benefits Northern families will gain from this.
Working in higher education, I am alarmed to see the Chancellor abolish grants for poorer students. If anything, we are sending a negative message to these families – that our system is unhelpful and totally undesirable.
My Kids will be worse off
Jonathan Trotter, 68, is a retired head teacher of a primary school. He is married with three children.
Overall, weighing up the benefits and losses, I’d say that for me, the implications of the Budget are fairly neutral.
Some of the so-called “less obvious” points such as the increases in taxes on insurance and vehicle excise might disadvantage me but I do think, ultimately, I’m going to win. I’m going to have thresholds reduced. I have a good teachers’ pension, I’ve laid down some investments, I’ve got a house and the mortgage is paid for.
If I’m honest, inheritance tax doesn’t make a jot of a difference to me. Not where I live, anyway. If I lived in the inner city of London and had a lot of money perhaps, but you’ve got to be dead to pass it on anyway... There’s not much you can do about it then!
However, looking at wider society, I do have concerns. My kids are going to be worse off. I want to know what’s happening to increase social housing. I want to know why the weaker parts of society are being trampled upon.
Am I an angry pensioner? Yes. We need to give our kids a better world but, actually, we’re in danger of leaving it a far worse place.
‘I’ll now be more likely to hire new employees’
Giles Harris, 44, is the owner and founder of Come Round – a small business based in Notting Hill, London.
I think I’ll be better off – maybe not immediately, but in the medium to long term, businesses like mine will be better off.
I think it comes down to one fact: I’m going to be more likely to hire employees to grow my business. Previously it hasn’t been a very attractive option, but after the changes to National Insurance I think that might change. I think the new tax-free allowance of £5,000 on dividend income will be much fairer as small business owners have effectively avoided paying national insurance by paying dividends, and this redresses the balance somewhat.
Looking at the wider picture, in daily life, I’m pretty impressed with the Budget overall too. With my father dying nine months ago, I’ve been through the process of inheritance tax – so it’s really great that this will be changed for future generations.