Today George Osborne will announced his last Budget as Chancellor before the General Election in May. This has led may to believe that the Chancellor will role out the red carpet for Conservative voters, or those currently fluctuating, to vote firmly for the Conservatives. The new Budget surely has blue fingerprints all over it, however, that does not mean that the Liberal Democrat’s have been frozen out altogether. Yes the Budget has increased the inheritance tax threshold, whilst there are new initiatives to keep pensioners on side. Nevertheless, the Liberal Democrats have managed to secure extra funding for mental health in the Budget. The biggest Liberal Democrat policy to grace the Chancellor’s red box is the rise in personal tax allowance threshold, a 2010 manifesto pledge, elevating millions out of tax all together. The threshold was raised last year too, however, the new level will be placed at £11,000, cutting a further £200 off the last amendment. This is a remarkable feat not just for Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander, but for the many ordinary workers who have been struggling to cope, even though Britain has experienced significant economic growth.
Some of George Osborne’s more austere Budget’s seem a distant memory, especially as the Chancellor seems to have loosened his grip of the nations coffers…even if only slightly. This Budget will be altogether different, George Osborne is keen to please core Conservative voters and woo potential suitors ahead of what will be one of the tightest election races in contemporary British history. George Osborne has promised that there are no “no giveaways and no gimmicks” in his Budget, but it is hard to see past some of the potential politically motivated policies. The Chancellor has declared that the Conservatives Long Term Economic Plan is working and that ‘this is a Budget for you’, the millions at home who will decide their fate come May 7th.
This Budget could be the boost the Conservative Party needs and a Budget ‘that works for you’. Here is a selection of expected policies within the Chancellor’s economic package:
– Personal tax allowance threshold rise to £11,000 by 2017 – a tax cut for 27 million people
– An end to the annual tax return
– The brand new £1 coin design with twelve sides
– A surprise on National Insurance?
– Osborne could scrap tax on savings
– A tax break for the oil industry
– Cut corporation tax by 20% to help small and medium sized businesses
– Extra funding for PhD scholarships
– £1 billion package for Swansea ‘tidal lagoon’ – an important Government investment in green energy
– To increase support for northern cities as part of the Northern Powerhouse programme
– Cutting Beer duty (penny off a pint for the third year running), Cider duty, and Scotch duty
– Fuel Duty increase for September has been cancelled – 10p off a tank from the Tories
By James Metcalfe, Editor for Daily Political View.