Budget 2012: winners and losers

21 March 2012

Budget 2012: Winners

  • Low to middle-income earners – The rise in the personal allowance to £9,205 from April 2013 will mean the average basic-rate taxpayer will be £220 better off a year. 
  • Middle-income parents – The gradual phasing out of child benefit for those earning more than £50,000 is an improvement on the initial proposal to scrap it for any families with a higher-rate taxpayer.
  • Members of the Armed Forces – An extra £100 million is to be spent on improving military accommodation. Personnel serving overseas will also receive 100% relief on the average council tax bill. In addition, the family welfare grant has been doubled.
  • Broadband users – Osborne has pledged an extra £100 million to improve the speed of broadband across the country, creating ‘super-connected' cities.
  • Cyclists – Transport for London is set to receive an extra £15 million to improve cycle safety across the capital.
  • Rail users – The Chancellor has announced plans to upgrade the TransPennine route between Manchester and Sheffield and further improvements to the lines between Manchester and Preston, and Manchester and Blackpool.
  • Drinkers – The rise in the alcohol duty remained unchanged. This means it will increase by 2% above inflation. Not great, but it could get a lot worse after the imminent publication of the government's Alcohol Strategy.
  • Small businesses – Simplification of the tax return process will relieve an administrative burden on small firms. A new £20 billion National Loan Guarantee scheme will also provide discounted loans to companies with revenue of less than £50 million.
  • Businesses – Corporation tax will be cut to 24% from next month, and to 22% by April 2014.
  • Pensioners (although in the losers section too)  – The state pension is set to be simplified into a single-tier state pension set at around £140 a week and based on contributions.
  • Young people – Enterprise loans set to be introduced later this year for those wanting to set up their own businesses.
  • Home builders – Extra funding to go to help construction firms build new homes.

Budget 2012: Losers

  • Higher earners – 300,000 more people will be drawn into the higher rate 40% tax band as the 2013/14 threshold is reduced from £42,475 to £41,450.
  • Higher-income families – Child benefit will be phased out if someone in a household has an income of over £50,000. It will fall by 1% for every £100 earned over £50,000. While those earning over £60,000 will lose the benefit completely.
  • New pensioners – The age-related personal income tax allowance is going to be removed for new pensioners from April 2013. It will be replaced with a single personal allowance for all. HM Revenue & Customs estimate that this will leave 4.41 million people worse off in 2013/14 with an average loss of £83.
  • Future pensioners – The state pension age is going to be automatically reviewed to make sure it keeps pace with increasing longevity – so we're all going to be retiring later and later.
  • Wealthy homeowners – Stamp duty on property purchases worth more than £2 million will rise to 7% from midnight, meaning anyone buying a house of that value will have to hand over £140,000 to the taxman.
  • Shop workers – Set to work longer Sunday hours during the Olympics after Osborne announced an extension of the Sunday trading laws for eight weeks starting from 22 July.
  • Smokers – Tobacco duty will rise by 5% above inflation from 6pm tonight adding 37p to the average pack of cigarettes.
  • Banks – The bank levy is being increased by 0.105% from January 2013 to make sure banks don't benefit from the corporation tax cuts.
  • Motorists – The much hoped for reduction in fuel duty hasn't happened leaving motorists facing soaring petrol costs.

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