George Osborne’s claim to be delivering a budget for growth was undermined yesterday by the ominous prospect of lower growth, rising unemployment and higher borrowing to reverse Britain’s economic decline
By liberalizing Britain’s planning laws, simplifying tax systems and creating a Green Investment Bank to fund the expansion of environmental companies, the chancellor said he was ‘putting fuel in the tank of the British economy.’
The 2011 Budget incorporated revisions on income tax, the UK economy, borrowing, housingand the creation of more jobs, apprenticeships and work placements for young people out of work.
While there were no additional changes toalcohol duty rates, tobacco duty rates will rise 2% above inflation. Fuelduty will be cut by 1p per litre and the planned inflation rise will be delayed until 2012.
In other changes, Mr Osborne promised a rise in the personal tax allowance by £630 to £8,015 in April 2012, and there is planned consultation on long-term plans to merge income tax with National Insurance. Borrowing will fall to £122billion next year, dropping £29billion by 2015-16.
Council tax will be frozen or reduced this year in every English council and a 10% discount on inheritance tax will be brought in for those leaving 10% of their estate to charity.
The government-backed shared equity scheme to help 10,000 first time home-buyers to purchase properties got the green light, while the chancellor announced funding for 12 further university technical colleges and an extra 400,000 apprenticeships and 100,000 new work experience placements for young people out of work.
The chancellor said he was trying to create a ‘Britain carried aloft by the march of the maker,’ and maintained: ‘The budget is about reforming the nation’s economy so that we have enduring growth and jobs in the future.’