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UK Politics

The Budget at a glance


Chancellor George Osborne delivered his 2012 Budget statement today. Here are its major points:


:* The Office of Budget Responsibility expects UK to avoid recession and is revising growth forecast for this year up to 0.8%.

* Inflation forecast to fall from 2.8% this year to 1.9% next year.

* Unemployment expected to peak at 8.7% this year.

* Borrowing forecast to fall from £126 billion this year - £11 billion less than forecast in Autumn Statement - to £21 billion by 2016/17.

* Cost of operations in Afghanistan to be £2.4 billion less than expected. Extra £100 million to be spent on armed forces accommodation.

* Consultation to be held on offering gilts - Government bonds - with maturity terms of more than 50 years.


* State pension age to be automatically reviewed to ensure it keeps up with growing longevity.

* Simplification of tax system for pensioners.

* Single-tier state pension to be introduced - estimated to be £140.


* "Major package of tax changes" to boost oil and gas extraction in North Sea, and £3 billion new field allowance west of Shetland.

* Tax credits for video games, animation and TV production in the UK.

* Funding for faster broadband in UK's 10 largest cities.

* Headline rate of corporation tax to be cut further from next month by one percentage point - to 24%. Future cuts to go ahead as planned.

* Bank levy to be increased to 0.105% from next January, raising £2.5 billion a year.

* Legislation for relaxed Sunday trading laws on eight Sundays during Olympics and Paralympics, starting July 22.


* No change in alcohol duty.

* Duty on all tobacco products to rise by 5% above inflation from 6pm tonight - 37p on a packet of cigarettes.

* New duty on gaming machines.

* Changes to taxation on gambling firms, imposing tax at the place of consumption to discourage online gambling moving offshore.

* Stamp duty charge on properties above £2 million through a company to rise immediately to 15%.

* Stamp duty rate of 7% on properties worth more than £2 million.


* Fair fuel stabiliser means above-inflation rises in fuel duty will return only if price of oil falls below £45 a barrel.

* Vehicle excise duty to rise by rate of inflation. Duty frozen for road hauliers.


* Government to consult on anti-tax evasion rules.

* 50p tax rate raised £1 billion - a third of the amount forecast.

* Top rate to be reduced from 50p to 45p from April 2013.

* Changes to taxation mean the Treasury will receive "five times more money each and every year from the wealthiest in our society".

* Personal tax allowances to rise by £1,100 from next April. Tax-free allowance to rise to £9,205, making 24 million people £220 a year better off.

* Personal tax statement will explain how taxation is spent.

* Reform of tax system for small firms and review of VAT.


* Child benefit to be reduced incrementally when one member of household earns more than £50,000. Child benefit will be removed completely at £60,000.

Government accused of 'stealth tax' on pensioners
Corporation tax cut to 24% in April
Unions criticise regional pay rates plan
Thousands escape child benefit axe
TV tax credit 'could end exodus' of big-budget shows
Smokers slam tobacco duty rise
Job fears over increase in beer tax increase
Plane passengers hit by air passenger duty hike
Anger over George Osborne's North Sea bid
Videogame industry celebrates tax relief in Budget
University research gets £100m boost
Ed Miliband condemns top rate tax cut
Estate agents warn that stamp duty raid could hit all homeowners
Government accused of producing a Budget 'for the rich'
George Osborne slashes 50% top tax rate
Osborne dashes fuel price hopes
Oliver Wright on the Budget: Now we have to look at what was NOT said
James Moore: Budget snap judgements
The Budget at a glance
Full text of the Budget speech