What measures would you most like to see in the pre-Budget report?

Initiatives to help home buyers
16% (5 votes)
Help for small businesses
19% (6 votes)
More support for pensioners
34% (11 votes)
Tax breaks for drivers
16% (5 votes)
Inheritance tax reform
6% (2 votes)
Support for families
9% (3 votes)
Total votes: 32

Your Comments

I am not a first time buyer but i still think Gordon brown must do something NOW to help the housing market and if that means making it easier for people to buy then so be it.We all need first tiem buyers to buy our houses so we can move up the ladder it is how the chain works! the budget is a real opportunity for Gordon Brown to do something to help support this country from going down the pan and if the last year has proved any thing it is that the house market is important to thw whole economy

I am surprised by the options here.

Surely 'tax-breaks that assist consumers' i.e VAT as a whole, whether fuel, consumer goods et al should be one of the options.

I feel all of the above choices are either way of the mark to assist the consumer now, or outside the scope of root-causes.

I'd say leave the housing market to slump.

Attempting to support it at these inflated prices would only delay the resulting bust, which would be much bigger. Look what happened in the US, with prices down 40% and even more in some areas.

That said, my measures would be:

1) Better credit regulation. Restricting the total credit (mortgage, personal loans, cards) available to any one person to around 4 times their (certified) income would make people more responsible in their borrowings and prevent boom / bust cycles. People would also learn to ditch expensive credit (e.g. cards) for inexpensive credit (e.g. mortgages) further helping household finances.

2) Increase the cash ISA limits so as to encourage savings. The reduction in tax on savings would help offset the reduction in the BoE base rate. The country needs savers as much as it needs spenders - how else will banks shore up their capital requirements?

3) Flat rate pension tax relief. I'm fed up of the wealthiest getting the biggest tax breaks. This would encourage the lower paid to save for retirement.

4) NI breaks for companies that don't fire people during a recession, as well as for those who do hire during (I kind of like the Tory idea on this one).

Help all pensioners with a really good pensoin increase and so take most of them out of this means testing rubbish

So what is the big deal about moving home ?(note Home not houses!) By all means help firt time buyers, not those moving for social reasons or more buy to let speculators.

I came across a letter from my Building Society in the early 90's teling me that my interest rate had gone to 11.5%! - NOW THAT IS HELL. Think about this when you read anything about Tory tax pledges.

Perhaps if we as a nation spent less time and effort in house building and more in real wealth and export creating manufacturing we ould be far better off not just for today but for our kids and grand kids tomorrow.

Some evidence that the government is prepared to curb (and ideally significantly reduce) the ever expanding
Quango society, wherebye proliferating "agencies", "task-forces" etc,etc,etc are draining the country dry with ever-increasing staffing and costs, whilst qibbling with each other about who is in charge of what and falling over each other in the confusion.

I would like to see pensions increased to keep pace with today's living expenses. I think we should scrap the present benefits system and ensure instead that each person gets a livable pension BUT I also think that those who have worked - like me for almost 45 years - should have the national insurance and tax contributions made recognised and there should be a sliding scale of the old age pension to take account of this.
I would also like to see a reduction in VAT even for a limited period. Windfall tax on energy companies to be passed on to the public who have paid over the odds for this service.
Bank managers who have helped cause this credit crunch should be fired for incompetence instead of still being promised bonuses. These are the men and women who have caused this dreadful state of affairs why are they still in charge?
Any one of the above would be helpful in today's climate.

The whole financial system has lost touch with reality spurred on by this Goverment which does not understand the difference between need and want. It encourages people to spend as that increases the economic growth but if that spending is provided by borrowing more than is prudent then tears will follow. Gordon Brown has activly encouraged this to suit his aim to be able to boast continual growth for the longest period. We can now see the way this has end.

Nobody has the right to buy a house. If they want one then they have to save and wait until they can borrow a reasonable amount for the difference. This would show the lender their reliability and indicate their ability to meet the repayments over the set term. The need to save for the deposit will reduce buyers and allow house prices to reach a lower affordable level and subsequently stop rapid house price inflation and provide some stabilty to prices in due course. This would also apply to other items we wish to purchase - if you do not have the money you cant buy it.

This will lead to stagflation and a great amount of pain to all who have overborrowed but if we try and avoid the repercussions of this mess we are all in now no lessons will have been learned and it will all happen again and again and again. It might also ensure that we only vote in a government who understand that you cant give to people all of the time and that high taxes reduce savings.

I dont hold out much hope that any long term lessons will be learned or that we will vote in a responsible Government( we have an I want it now electorate ) and most politicians seem to think it is a well paid and lucrative career rather than a service to guide the people they govern wisely. So Moneywise readers it is up to you to be prudent as this Goverment certainly cant and will not be in the future.

Suggestions to Chancellor

1. Removal of earnings cap on older persons' personal allowance

2. Reaslistic taxation om motoraing

3. Reduction in taxation on savings to 10% in line with divideands

4. Major incresse in OHT threshold to eg £1M - £1.5M

Pensioners need a lot more suppot; the heating allowance has stayed the same since it was introduced, the cost has risen out of all propotion for fuel, and inflation has eaten into it as well. It's not just the heating, but the fact that the older you get the more lighting you need to see by, no one has considered this point, that pensioners need to switch the lights on more and watch the TV or use the computer for longer because they can't go out so much, a reduction in the cost of electric for pensioners would be a good start. While I'm thinking about things,how about cheaper broardband rate for the over 60's

On the other side of the coin there are those on child tax credit that need a big increase as well.

reducing VAT should be the answer to the spending problem. People are only going to spend if the prices seem to cheap to resist.

I began working at age 15 and married when I was 19 when I began paying married womans Nat Insce contribution. Apart from a few years when my children were pre-school age, I have worked all my life until the age of 62 only to discover that my private pension is not worth a fraction of what I was promised and the only state pension I get is through my husband's contribution. Having never claimed anything from the state, I do get annoyed when I see how much teenage mothers, unemployed, and others who have never paid anything into the system, receive. I strongly believe it is time all pensioners are looked after better, not just the poorest who have to claim benefits.

I agree with you whole heartedly.
Lessons to be learnt, blah, blah blah..... - my foot. Brown is making sure that all this will be repeated again. But then, what does he care? Elect him and his incompetents in for another 4 years is top of his agenda right now. The arrogant man eats, breathes and sleeps it.
If all this posturing and bribing is not ELECTIONEERING, then I don't know what is.
Wake up, Britain. Let's play his Game.Take all his bribes but DON'T vote for Labour.
The Blairites are back in town - with a vengeance, and the new Spin doctors, Peter what not and Alistair what not are having a field day in the wings. Was my memory playing tricks in remembering Brown on entering office pledge that he will not do SPIN? Ha, Ha, Ha!!

I agree with the Guest poster at Fri, 14/11/2008 - 14:21.
Forget 'saving the housing market'! We've got the most ridiculous housing market in the world. Why do we pay £100-150k for a titchy one bedroom flat with walls made of plasterboard?! Why, because the government creates hysteria telling us that's what we all SHOULD be doing!! They've created a stigma that there's something wrong with you if you don't pay silly, inflated prices for property...!
Take the U.S; the properties there are much larger, better built and regularly cost 50 times less than the prices we would pay in the U.K.
Take Europe, they don't see prices quadrupling every few years (and certainly not in 6 figure terms, more like 4 figures), oh except where U.K buyers appear on the scene....!

First of all Brown must remember that he is now the PM and not the Chancellor and stop making comments that are Darlings domain. When he was Chancellor he encouraged borrowing and penalised savers. Probably because he thought this was favourable for his figures. Darling should:-
1) increase the ISA limit to £15k/year thereby encouraging saving.
2) bring back moral fibre to society, by providing decent tax breaks for married couples
3) adjust tax bands and thresholds so that they keep pace with inflation such as IHT.
4) reward people who manage their money effectively and not keep bailing out the inept ones.
5) effective credit regulations
6) get rid of all the quangos - the money they cost is horrendous
7) make all public sector pensions be handled the same way as the private ones and start with politicians pensions thereby leading by example. The british public are becoming increasing frustrated, angry and annoyed at footing the bill for this - especially politicians.
8) stop telling the banks to lend money at the same rate as in 2007 - that's what caused the problem in the first place. He should tell them to lend responsibility tho' or else he'll grab his money back.

Not to do with the budget, but we are now getting more spin from Brown than ever, such as "Britain is well placed..." " all responsible governments should borrow....." "this started in...."
The man is a moron, we are all in for a long,slow and very painful slog and he appears to be in total denial and what happened to his pledge of "no more spin"?
As chancellor he took on about 200 thousand extra civil servants, with job titles that no one could understand. He also pledged to get rid of 35000 but got rid of none. He's bringing in 8 new laws a day when there are the same laws on the statute books. Laws where the guilty are rewarded and the innocent are punished. People putting their bins out on the wrong day are fined whilst fly tippers get away scott free.

He also said 2or 3 years ago that our troops would be home by Christmas. They're still there. And when they come home, horrendously wounded, they get a paltry amount of compensation.
His values and those of his government (which is an oligarchy not a democracy by the way) is so far out of touch with the mass of the british public we are on the road to anarchy and providing ammunition for extremists like the BNP. History will judge him as the worst chancellor we've ever had and the worst prime minister. My God he's even worse than Blair and his wife.
It's also alleged that for his honeymoon his wife told some friends that "her Gordon is very clever, he booked an economy flight because he knows he'll get a free upgrade" Ecce homo!!

Remove VAT on Gas & Electricity.

Remove VAT on Gas & Electricity.

Remove VAT on Gas & Electricity.

How about a higher ISA saving limit, sorry I forgot we not paying any Interest.

I do feel that the Government wastes a lot of money setting up quango's and unneccesary committees especially when you see the amopunts people are paid and that members often come from limited areas and backgroumds thus not reflecting the whole communities.
I also think that the Civil service and local government seems to be growing enormously putting a very high burden on the population without a rise in efficiency. People getting high salaries who seem unable to run efficient departments should lose their jobs or be demoted and certainly face financial penalties if they are stupid enough not to take care of sensitive material.