We got a "Dear Peregrin" letter today, this time from dear old Gidiot. Munguin scribbled some notes in the margin in his red biro and insisted they be shared with you.
Today I delivered a Budget that puts the next generation first and redoubles our efforts to make Britain fit for the future by:
- Cutting taxes so working people can keep more of the money they earn From April next year the tax free personal allowance will rise to £11,500, a tax cut for 31 million people that means a typical basic rate taxpayer will be paying over £1,000 less income tax then when we came into government. The higher rate threshold will also increase to £45,000, a tax cut of over £400. Munguin says: It will be good, although not nearly enough, for all the people that don't die of cold or hunger before next year when it comes into effect. Why not raise it more, say £12,000, and maintain the current threshold on 40p tax? Everyone gains from that, not just those earning enough to pay the higher rate.
- Freezing fuel duty to support household budgets and small firms. We have frozen fuel duty for the sixth year in a row, a saving of £75 a year to the average driver and £270 a year to a small business with a van. We’re also freezing beer and cider duty to back British pubs. Munguin says: We concede this is a good move as far as business goes, although, we doubt most of us would have noticed a penny or two on a litre of petrol, and it might have meant that you didn't have to reduce PIPs so much.
- Improving our schools so our children get the best start in life. We’re providing extra money so every school in England becomes an academy and we are going to put a new sugar levy on the soft drinks industry so they reduce the sugar content of their products to tackle childhood obesity. The money raised will be used to double sports funding in primary schools and fund longer school days in secondary schools that offer their pupils a wider range of activities, including extra sport. Munguin says: Not entirely clear to us what Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland get out of this. We assume there will be a Barnet Consequential, although it never pays to expect fairness from the UK government.
- Introducing a new Lifetime ISA to help the next generation to save. We know people like the simplicity of ISAs so we’re going to increase the ISA limit from just over £15,000 to £20,000 for everyone. For those under 40, many of whom haven’t had such a good deal from pensions, we’re going to introduce a completely new Lifetime ISA. You won’t have to choose between saving for your first home, or saving for your retirement – the government is going to give you money to do both. For every £4 saved, the Government will give you £1. So put in £4,000 each year and the government will give you £1,000 every year until you’re 50. Munguin says: Good move on ISAs, particularly for older people who have to live on the paltry pension, and had hoped interest on their savings might help out a bit. Why only help people under 40 to save though? There are many people who've had a rough deal on their pensions, together with looking forward to one of the lowest state pension in the developed world. You would have to be from the privileged class to think that most people can afford to save£4,000 a year. People with kids and low paid jobs are lucky to be able to afford to put away a couple of hundred a year.
- Cutting taxes for small businesses. 600,000 small businesses will now pay no business rates at all, an annual saving of up to almost £6,000, and a further 250,000 small businesses will get a tax cut on their business rates bill. We have also cut Capital Gains Tax to boost enterprise and cut Corporation Tax to support investment and job creation. Munguin says: We agree with helping small businesses: they create jobs. Of course Business rates in Scotland are not set by the Treasury, so once again Scotland is not affected by this move. Cutting of Capital Gains tax and the 40p band rise was paid for by cutting PIP. That's low life stuff, even for you, Mr Osborne.
This Budget puts stability first with long term solutions to long term problems. It acts now so we don’t pay later. Donate today to help us continue to deliver security, stability and opportunity for people across Britain. Munguin says: Largely the budget will help better off people and hurt the poor and the sick. No more than we expected, we suppose. It's all very well putting the next generation first. What about the present generation? Some of us had nothing to do with causing the 2008 melt down. Austerity hasn't worked. At least not for those of us who have suffered it. MPs on the other hand have done rather well, as have your cousins and Buckingham Palace. If this is Better Together, we'd much rather make it on our own.