I was doing a live budget commentary on twitter (follow it there) for those who missed it, here are the tweets in order. Spelling mistakes and grammar have been corrected…
1. And we’re off – let’s see what Georgy boy has to say #budget (first sentence he’s flagged he’s going to cut petrol).
2. “Not a tax raising budget – nor can we afford giveaway – fiscally neutral”, ie, he’s going to tinker not change.
3. Unsubtle taking the piss out of Gordon Brown/Darling for rushing through the economic figures in past #budget speeches.
4. Food prices up 30% in a year. Oil 35% in five months, so inflation likely to stick to 4-5% this year (gulp).
5. Retweet Faisalislam: “Dig at Gordon Brown for selling gold at $299 per ounce … it’s now $1400ish”.
6. Retweet HM treasury: "Chancellor: Budget abolishes 43 complex tax reliefs and removes over 100 pages from our tax code”.
7. Consultation to merge Income tax & National Insurance – good for simplicity, there was worry it would add 11% to savings tax, but he says not.
8. Corporation tax lowered but not for banks as their levy will go up – nice populist, bank-bashing move.
9. And now he comes to the 50% tax rate – “it would damage the economy if permanent… it’s a temporary measure… HMRC to see if it actually raises revenue”.
10. Osborne blue tie, Clegg red tie, Danny Alexander gold tie, Cameron’s tie blocked by Osborne’s shoulder.
11. £250m to first-time buy shared equity scheme. You pay 5% deposit, 20% comes from the government & construction industry YET only helps 10,000 people – a piddly no.
12. OK correction – Osborne’s tie is purple (not on my screen). Cam’s is grey apparently.
13. Just filling in during the boring bits.
14. In other news – it’s being reported Liz Taylor has died. RIP!
15. The hidden issue here (we’ve been working on it) is the switch of taxes from RPI (5.5% current) to CPI (4.4% current). The key is how they will apply.
16. To clarify on direct taxes rising with CPI (current 4.4%), not RPI (current 5.5%) if it’s tax thresholds, that’s an effective TAX RISE.
17. Retweet Faisalislam: “Carbon price – £16 per tonne up to £30 by 2020”. In english, that means your energy bills are going to surge to pay for nukes".
18. Right 35 mins in – and still nothing on petrol – rabbit out of the budget bag at the end perhaps?
19. Retweet Patrick Collinson: "Public money to help water bills in south west (very Lib Dem). Yet Severn Trent made £101m profit on £867m turnover in the last half year.
20. Simplified state pensions, eg, 2nd state pension ridiculously complex. New FLAT RATE pension based on contibuttions, not for exist pensioners
21. Gift aid simplified – wealthy gifts and art gifts to be boosted – give 10% of estate to charity & get 10% off inheritance tax rate.
22. Tax dodger rules – stamp duty dodge closed, and loophole of cheap CDs from Jersey to be closed.
23. Play.com can’t be happy – first the leak of email info, now their tax advantage shafted!
24. On 6 April the amount you can earn tax-free rises £1,000 to £7,475 (we knew that) but in April 12 it’ll now go £8,105.
25. Higher personal allowance (tax-free amount) won’t lower the 40% band, so it won’t mean more 40% taxpayers.
26. Retweet HM Treasury: "Chancellor: No changes to alcohol duty; tobacco duty rates will increase by 2% above inflation".
27. Now company drivers’ allowance increased from 40p to 45p including volunteers travelling as passengers.
28. NOW WE GET TO PETROL here goes…
29. He’s building it up on fuel duty #getonwithit.
30. April 5p petrol rise delayed a year – and today duty cut 1p from 6pm. Still leaves it £1.32/litre (80p tax) so try this http://bit.ly/gpPK8A
31. That’s it, budget over – now to go and work out exactly what it means – remember speech is 10 pages long, actual budget about 200!
32. Final thought! This was a ‘nipple tweaking’ #budget – no big tax moves, lots of clever little ones especially petrol and linking tax allowance to CPI.
33. Retweet HM Treasury: "The Chancellor has finished his Budget statement. You can now view the Budget document at http://bit.ly/bud11doc“.
Now read the Official MSE News Budget coverage:
- Boost for airline passengers
- Income tax to fall for next year
- £140 a week state pension planned
- First time buyers to get help buying new builds
- Tax and N.I may be merged
- Petrol duty cut and fuel stabiliser introduced