Insights from the UK and beyond
What did you think of the Budget?
Chancellor Alistair Darling has made his second annual Budget speech to parliament. Among the measures announced to the House were an increase in petrol duty of 2p per litre in September and a 2 percent increase in alcohol and tobacco duties from tonight.
Darling also announced a scrappage scheme offering £2,000 to people trading in cars older than 10 years for a newer vehicle. From next April there will be a new top tax rate of 50 percent for those earning more than 150,000 pounds a year.
Meanwhile, the annual limit on individual savings accounts has been raised to 10,200 pounds and the Stamp Duty holiday on properties sold for less than 175,000 was extended until the end of the year. There was also money for wind farms and an extra 1 billion pounds to help homeowners and the construction industry.
Darling also forecast that the UK economy will shrink by 3.5 percent in 2009, saying “No country could insulate itself from the world downturn.”
David Cameron, leader of the opposition Conservative party, said: “He is planning to borrow 348 billion pounds over the next two years, that is more — over just two years — than every previous government put together, not just every government since World War Two … but since the Bank of England was first founded more than 300 years ago. This budget does not do enough to bring the public finances under control.”
What did you make of the Chancellor’s Budget speech? Will you benefit from any of the measures? What are your thoughts on the increase in fuel, alcohol and tobacco duties? Do you think the scrappage scheme and new tax rate are a good idea? Finally, do you think it will have a positive effect on the UK economy?