Wednesday, 18 March 2015

What does the Budget mean for us? Outline details of the all the major measures.

  • The tax-free personal allowance to rise from £10,600 in 2015-6 to £10,800 in 2016-7 and £11,000 in 2017-8
  • Law to be changed to allow pensioners to access their annuities, with 55% tax charge abolished and tax applied at the marginal rate
  • Petrol duty frozen, beer duty cut 
  • £15m church repair roof fund to be trebled
  • extensive support for NE Oil and Gas sectors
  • Helping first time buyers with Help to Buy ISAs. In the North East, this could help over 50,000 people to buy their first home in the next 5 years by giving them a 25 per cent bonus of the amount they have saved to help with the cost of their first home. Couples getting the full £3,000 will be able to receive a Government bonus worth 28 per cent of their deposit.
  • Backing savers with the Personal Savings Allowance. In the North East, giving basic rate taxpayers a £1,000 Personal Savings Allowance and higher rate taxpayers a £500 Personal Savings Allowance could remove up to 690,000 people from savings tax liability.
  • Giving more choice to savers with New Flexible ISAs. ISA holders can benefit from being able to invest in a wider range of assets and cash ISA subscribers that could benefit from being able to take money out of their cash ISA and put it back later in the year without losing any of their tax-free entitlement.
  • Increasing the period over which self-employed farmers can average their profits for income tax purposes from two to five years. In the North East, this could benefit over 1000 individual farmers.
  • Delivering more homes by creating Housing Zones. A new Housing Zone has been announced in the Exemplar Neighbourhood in Gateshead that could deliver 1,000 new homes.
  • More funding for flood defences. As a result of decisions made in the Autumn Statement, an additional £4.1 million will be made available in the first four years of the flood and coastal erosion programme, enabling nine schemes to be delivered at least a year sooner than originally planned, and a further new scheme to be included.
  • Taking further steps to build a Northern Powerhouse with a Northern Transport Strategy. This will deliver transformed city-to-city rail connectivity and reduced journey times between the major urban centres of the North of England, both by bringing the benefits of HS2 to the North sooner and committing to develop the TransNorth rail vision. It will also commit to an integrated and smart ticket system to support our vision of a single economy across the North of England.
  • Improving roads by launching the Highways England Delivery Plan. The Delivery Plan sets out further detail on the roads investment programme from 2015-2020, setting out milestones for projects across the North East. It confirms that improvements to the A1 around Newcastle and Gateshead will be delivered by June 2017 and between Leeming and Barton by 2017. The improvements to the A19 in Tyne and Wear will have entered construction by 2019.
  • Continuing to rebalance the economy by supporting Enterprise Zones to create jobs and attract investment. The Tees Valley Enterprise Zone will be extended to the Prairie site with enhanced capital allowances. It will enable the Enterprise Zone to expand into the emerging North Sea oil and gas rig decommissioning market, estimated to be worth £1 billion a year between 2013 and 2018.
  • Investing in innovation. The Government will provide £1 million for the Centre for Process Innovation – a technology innovation centre based in the North East – through Innovate UK to support knowledge transfer in this sector.
  • Supporting small businesses with the Broadband Connection Voucher scheme. The scheme is open to all SMEs, charities, social enterprises and sole traders and provides up to £3,000 to support broadband connection. The scheme in Newcastle, which has already issued 272 vouchers, is being extended for 12 months to March 2016. The scheme will be available in Sunderland and Middlesbrough by 1 April.
  • Building on the North of England’s strengths in health science with Health North. The Government is committing £20 million to Health North to enable better care for patients and to promote innovation through analysis of data on the effectiveness of different drugs, treatments and health pathways.
  • Promoting tourism links between Newcastle and Scandinavia. £300,000 of funding will be made available for a new advertising campaign to promote tourism links between Newcastle and Scandinavia in 2015.
Fuller details from the BBC here: