Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A "Break-Up Budget"?

George makes his point

There have been concerns that the Budget could threaten the stability of family life by adding to financial pressures on families, and increasing conflict within couples. So, what has the Chancellor done for families?

I only found two items in the Chancellor's speech that are directly relevant to families:

  • Personal income tax allowance will be raised to £9,205 from April 2013, making 24 million people £220 a year better off; and
  • Child benefit will be phased out when someone in a household has an income of more than £50,000. It will fall by 1% for every £100 earned over £50,000. Only those earning more than £60,000 will lose the entirety of the benefit.

However, the following measures were previously announced:

  • Next month, jobseeker's allowance, income support, most income tax allowances, national insurance thresholds, inheritance tax allowance, disability benefits, maternity benefits, incapacity benefit and child benefit will all rise in line with the Consumer Prices Index last September (5.2%);
  • The child element of child tax credits will rise by £135 in 2012-13;
  • The couple and lone-parent elements of working tax credit will not go up in line with inflation;
  • Couples with children will have to work for 24 hours a week between them, not 16, in order to qualify for working tax credit;
  • Personal allowance will rise by £630 on 6 April to £8,105 for the 2012-13 tax year;
  • The upper threshold of the basic rate of income tax will fall by £630 to £34,370 in April; and
  • The 1% stamp duty rate for first-time buyers, on properties costing between £125,000 and £250,000, is being reintroduced on 24 March.

Does this amount to a "Break-Up Budget"? I will leave it to the reader to decide, although Barnardo's is not impressed.

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