The first all-Tory Budget in almost two decades is set to be divisive as further dramatic welfare curbs are included with Chancellor George Osborne promising to “secure Britain’s future”.
The Budget is also set to take advantage of better-than-forecast tax revenue to declare that £12billion of welfare savings will be implemented more slowly than previously thought.
Energy Voice will be focusing on the Treasury’s promises to the North Sea oil and gas industry, which is still rebounding from a lower global oil price and high production costs.
The Chancellor tweeted earlier: “Today I will present a Conservative budget – a budget that puts economy first.”
Industry leaders have been calling on the Government to help renew confidence by easing the tax burdens in the UKCS.
Energy Voice will bring you budget news as it happens. Check back later today for all of the industry reaction and tomorrow for in-depth analysis.
-Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne rose to deliver the Budget at 12.33pm.
-The Chancellor says the Budget will take Britain “from a low wage, high tax, high welfare economy, to the higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare country we intend to create”.
-Mr Osborne said: “Britain still spends too much, borrows too much and our weak productivity shows we don’t train enough or build enough or invest enough.”
-The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts growth for 2015 at 2.4%, then 2.3% in 2016, then revised up to 2.4% in 2017, and for rest of decade.
-Business investment is 31.9% higher than in 2010 and revised up again this year.
-Budget surplus to be achieved a year later than planned in 2019/20, but the national debt will be lower and the surplus larger than expected.
-OBR forecasts almost one million new jobs over the next five years, but Mr Osborne says the Government’s ambition is to “go further and create 2 million more jobs”.
-The deficit should be cut during this Parliament “at the same pace as we did in the last Parliament”, said the Chancellor.
-Mr Osborne said his plans will leave the national debt lower as a share of GDP in every future year than was predicted in March and will avoid a “roller-coaster ride” in public spending.
-Banks including RBS to be returned to private sector faster than expected, with sale of Government assets delivering record privatisation proceeds this year.
-Deficit to fall to 3.7% of national income this year, then 2.2% in 2016/17, 1.2% in 2017/18 and 0.3% in 2018/19, before moving into surplus of 0.4% in 2019/20 and 0.5% in 2020/21.
-Borrowing revised down to £69.5 billion this year, then revised up to £43.1 billion and £24.3 billion the following two years and to reach £6.4 billion in 2018/19.
-Chancellor says “we’ve come too far to turn back”.
-Surplus forecast of £10 billion in 2019/20 and £11.6 billion in 2020/21.
-National debt forecast to be 80.3% this year, then 79.1%, 77.2%, 74.7% and 71.5% in subsequent years before reaching 68.5% in 2020/21.
-Chancellor publishes a new Fiscal Charter committing the country to running an overall budget surplus in normal economic times.
-After 2019/20, deficit to be allowed only when the OBR judges real GDP growth is lower than 1% a year.
-The fiscal plan requires £37 billion of further consolidation over five years, including £12 billion from welfare and £5 billion from tackling tax evasion to be announced today, and the rest from departmental cuts to be announced in the autumn.
-Rises in public sector pay restricted to 1% per year for the next four years.
-NHS to receive a further £8 billion by 2020, on top of £2 billion already committed.
-HM Revenue and Customs to receive extra £750 million to go after tax fraud and evasion, with the aim of raising £7.2 billion in extra tax.
-Chancellor says: “British people should pay British taxes and now they will.”
-Non-dom status abolished for people born in the UK to parents domiciled here. Permanent non-dom tax status to be abolished with anyone resident in the UK for more than 15 years of the past 20 years to pay full UK tax from April 2017, raising £1.5 billion.
-Bank levy rate to be gradually reduced over the next six years, while a new 8% surcharge on bank profits will be introduced from January 2016.
-Cap on charges imposed by claims management companies, and an increase in insurance premium tax to 9.5%, effective from November 2015.
-Funding from banking fines for services charities, with a quadrupling in annuities for Victoria Cross and George Cross holders. Government to fund memorial to victims of terrorism overseas.
-Plan for Productivity to be unveiled on Friday.
-Fuel duty to remain frozen this year.
-New apprenticeship levy on all large firms.
-University tuition fee cap to be linked to inflation for institutions offering high-quality teaching.
-Mortgage interest relief on residential property to be restricted to the basic rate of income tax, phased in over four years from April 2017.
-Chancellor says: “No more inheritance tax on family homes.”
-Mr Osborne said he was making good on the Tory pledge to take millions of people out of inheritance tax. “The wish to pass something on to your children is about the most basic, human and natural aspiration there is.You can pass up to £1 million on to your children free of inheritance tax.”
-Chancellor says: “The truth is Britain isn’t saving enough.”
-Annual Investment Allowance for small and medium-sized businesses to be set at £200,000 from this year.
-Chancellor says North Sea tax reforms will go ahead. Read more here.
-Climate Change Levy exemption for renewable electricity to be removed.
-Dividend tax credit to be replaced with a new tax-free allowance of £5,000 on dividend income. Rates of dividend tax to be set at 7.5%, 32.5% and 38.1%.
-Corporation tax to be cut from 20% to 19% in 2017 and 18% by 2020.
-Chancellor says new 18% corporation tax sends the message out “loud and clear that Britain is open for business”.
-Abolition of automatic entitlement to housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds, who will have a new Youth Obligation requiring them to earn or learn. Exemptions for vulnerable people.
-Rate of Employment and Support Allowance paid to those deemed able to work to be aligned with Jobseekers’ Allowance for new claimants.
-The rate at which a household’s tax credit is reduced as it earns more is to be increased to 48%, and the income rise disregard reduced from £5,000 to £2,500.
-Benefits cap to be reduced from £26,000 per household to £23,000 in London and £20,000 in the rest of the country. Social housing tenants earning more than £40,000 in London and £30,000 elsewhere to pay rent at market rates.
-Support for children through tax credits and universal credits to be limited to two children, affecting children born after April 2017.
-Changes to tax credits bring spending on the benefit back to 2007/08 level in real terms.
-Welfare reforms announced by the Chancellor will save £12 billion by 2019/20 and will be legislated for over the coming year.
-Tax free personal allowance rises to £11,000.
-Higher rate income tax threshold to rise from £42,385 to £43,000 from next year, lifting 130,000 people out of the higher rate.
-Real terms increase in the defence budget guaranteed every year, and a new joint security fund of £1.5 billion a year to be created by 2020.
-Commitment for the UK to meet the Nato pledge of spending 2% of national income on defence every year of this decade.
-Introduction of a new compulsory National Living Wage for working people aged 25 and over, starting in April 2016 at £7.20 an hour and reaching £9 an hour by 2020.
-Low Pay Commission to recommend future rises in National Living Wage to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020.
-Changes will mean a direct pay rise for 2.5 million with those on the minimum wage seeing pay increase by more than one third over the Parliament – or more than £5,000 for a full-time worker. A total of 6 million people expected to see their pay increase overall.
-Mr Osborne completed his statement at 1.39pm.