Budget 2013: Winners and losers

21 March 2013


Investors in small companies

Chancellor George Osborne called for the abolition of stamp duty on buying shares on growth markets such as AIM or the ICAP Securities and Derivatives Exchange (ISDX) from April 2014. Currently, Stamp Duty amounts to 0.5% of every transaction.

Small businesses

Corporation tax will be cut to 20% from April 2015. 450,000 businesses will also benefit from a "national insurance holiday" worth up to £2,000 and pay no "job tax" at all (see new employees).

First-time home-buyers and builders

A Help to Buy scheme directed to get more people on the housing ladder will enable buyers to purchase a new home with as little as a 5% deposit. Up to 20% of the cost of the home is then funded by a "shared equity" loan, which will be repayable when the house is sold.

The loan will be interest-free for the first five years with the remainder of the loan paid for with a standard mortgage.

Basic-rate taxpayers

The personal allowance will be raised to £10,000 from April 2014.

New employees

Part of his "taking tax off jobs" plan, the Chancellor announced a new employment allowance, which is set to take the first £2,000 off employer National Insurance bills for every employer in the country.

Beer drinkers

The "alcohol duty escalator" was scrapped on beer and duty was cut by 1p per pint from 24 March.

Members of the armed forces

The armed forces will be exempt from the 1% cap on public sector pay.

Holders of CTFs

Six million holders have been given the right to transfer child trust funds (CTFs) to the newer Junior ISAs (JISAs) - introduced in 2011 - which offer better rates and cheaper investments. Holders will get access to a best-buy account paying 6% interest on JISAs rather than 3.05% on CTFs and "index tracker" funds that cost 0.27% a year instead of 1.5% on CTFs.

Older Equitable Life policyholders

Victims of the collapse of Equitable Life are to be compensated after been denied compensation with ex-gratia payments of £5,000 to be made to elderly policyholders, with an additional £5,000 available to people on pension credit on the lowest income.


Initially scheduled for September, the 3p fuel duty rise has now been scrapped.

Petrol and diesel are now 13p per litre cheaper than they would have been if the escalator had been enforced over the past two years, the Chancellor said.



The official growth forecast announced three months ago was slashed by half to 0.6%, with the Chancellor admitting the recovery was "longer than anyone hoped".


Retailers wanted measures to put more money in consumers' pockets and reduce the costs on their own balance sheets.

Wednesday's Budget has touched on the first, but completely failed to achieve the second: shops are now left facing a 2.6% hike to their business rates bill, a move which will add £175 million to their overheads, said David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG.


Still suffering from the recent scandals that have hit their reputations, banks have been hit by an increase in bank levy from 0.13% to 0.142% to account for the reduction in corporation tax from April 2015.

Wine drinkers

Contrary to beer drinkers, alcohol escalator duty was not waived, and will stay set at plus 2% on all wines.


In the same category as wine drinkers, the escalator was enforced on tobacco and cigarettes.

Annuity buyers

The Bank of England's quantitative easing (QE) programme is set to continue, according to the Chancellor, who dashed hopes of an improvement in annuity rates. In a tweet, pensions company MGM Advantage's Andrew Tully explained: "More QE will keep gilt yields down and keep annuity rates near all-time lows."

Members of final salary pension schemes

Workers could be at risk of seeing their schemes close as a result of the introduction of flat-rate state pension measures, while experts are expecting members of final salary schemes and their employers pay lower National Insurance contributions to pay more as the "contracting out" scheme ends.

Tax avoiders

Unveiling "one of the largest ever packages of tax avoidance and evasion measures", the Chancellor listed agreements between the UK and

the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey, as well as new rules to put an end to offshore employment intermediaries. Osborne threatened the government would name those encouraging and promoting tax avoidance schemes.

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