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Budget 2015: the main changes


Chancellor George Osborne announced his annual budget yesterday, which mainly targeted savers, workers and first time buyers.

One of the changes Osborne announced was that the threshold in which workers start to pay tax will be increased from £10,500 to £10,800 next year and £11,000 the year after. He claimed this meant that the typical working taxpayer would be better off by £900 a year, and will effect 27 million people.

The Chancellor also announced that savings for a deposit on a first house will be topped up by the government , £50 for every £200 saved. This move will come into force this autumn. The new Help to Buy ISA accounts will be made available through banks and building societies. He also announced that if the Conservatives get into power in May, the first £1,000 of savings interest would be tax free, meaning 95% of savers would pay no tax.

Other changes included relaxing pension rules from April 2016 which will mean retirees will be able to swap their fixed annual payments for cash, in a move that will benefit five million pensioners. 1p has been cut from beer duty, 2% from cider and whisky and wine and fuel duty has been frozen.

Cigarettes will go up by 16p a pack as earlier planned. Annual paper tax returns are to be scrapped and replaced with “digital tax accounts” , and there will be £1.3bn in tax cuts for North Sea oil exploration.

Labour has hit back at the budget, claiming that Osborne had “failed working families”. Ed Miliband said said:
"This a Budget that people won't believe from a government that is not on their side".

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