Budget 2015


  • An increase in the inheritance tax threshold to £1m for married couples by 2017

  • Working-age benefits to be frozen for four years - including tax credits and local housing allowance, but excluding maternity pay and disability benefits

  • Maintenance grants for students - paid to students with family incomes below £42,000 - to be scrapped and converted into loans from 2016/17

  • Scrapping housing benefit for under-21s

  • Corporation tax cut to 18% by 2020

  • Restrictions on tax breaks for "buy-to-let" landlords

  • A commitment to meeting the Nato target of spending 2% of national income on defence

  • Fuel duties frozen for the remainder of this year

  • New car tax bands with a standard charge of £140 - and new cars will not need MOTs for the first four years, rather than three

  • A fresh clampdown on public sector pay, which will be limited to 1% a year for the next four years

  • Pensions tax annual allowance to be tapered away to a minimum of £10,000 from next year

  • Confirmed that the BBC has agreed to absorb the £650m cost of providing free television licences for over-75s

The Office for Budget Responsibility said public spending would be £83bn higher over the next five years than Mr Osborne said in his March Budget - and the £24.6bn tax cuts announced in the Budget would be dwarfed by £47.2bn in tax rises, including the car tax changes and increasing the tax on insurance premiums from November.

Welfare cuts would add up to £35bn over the next five years.

The Budget 2015 In a surprise announcement at the end of his speech, he said workers aged over 25 would be entitled to a "national living wage" from next April, to soften the impact of in-work benefit cuts.

The current minimum wage, which applies to those aged over 21, is £6.50. Those entitled to the "living wage" will get £7.20 and that will rise to £9 an hour by 2020. Labour had vowed to increase the minimum wage to £8 by 2020 during the general election campaign.

The move is expected to boost the wages of six million people but may cause firms to recruit more under-25s, who will be on a lower rate, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The Treasury confirmed the measure would apply to both the public and private sectors.

Mr Osborne announced that the £26,000 benefit cap - the amount one household can claim in a year - would be cut to £23,000 in London and £20,000 in the rest of the country.

The government will also make local authority and housing association tenants in England who earn more than £30,000 - or £40,000 in London - pay up to the market rent, but rents in the social housing sector will be reduced by 1% a year for the next four years.

The chancellor unveiled "just under half" of the £37bn in cuts he says are needed to clear the deficit, with the remainder to come from cuts to government departments to be announced in the autumn.


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