Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his sixth annual Budget, in which he introduced flexible ISAs, a personal savings tax allowance, and confirmed a consultation into the re-sale of existing annuities.
Here's all the government's major announcements at a glance.
"Britain is walking tall. We have grown faster than any advanced economy in the world. More people have jobs in Britain than ever before."
"Do we return to the chaos of the past? Today we make that critical choice. We choose the future. We pledge to use whatever additional resources we have to get the deficit and the debt falling."
"We choose economic security....we choose jobs...we choose the whole nation...we choose responsibility...we choose aspiration...we choose families."
"The whole of Britain is going back to work."
"We will use [our] resources to pay down debt."
"Britain is back, paying its way in the world today. Britain is on the right track. We must not fall back."
"We stand for opportunity for all. We are all in this together."
- Will further reduce lifetime allowance from £1.25m to £1m; but this will, from 2018, will be index-linked.
- Confirmation that five million existing pensioners will benefit from the re-sale of annuities.
- Isas to become fully-flexible from Autumn, with tax-free withdrawals allowed.
- New personal savings allowance. First £1,000 of interest you earn on savings will be tax-free (£500 for higher-rate taxpayers) so that 17m people will see tax on savings abolished altogether.
- Help To Buy Isa launched. For every £200 you spend on saving for a property deposit, government will top-up by £50, up to £3,000. This means to save for the average UK house deposit of £15,000, Help To Buy Isa savers need only put aside £12,000.
- Income tax personal allowance of £10,600 in 2015-16, rising to £10,800 next year and £11,000 the year after. Typical working taxpayer over £900 a year better off. 27 million people to benefit. 4m of lowest-paid out of income tax altogether.
- Threshold at which people pay higher-rate to rise above inflation from £42,385 to £43,300.
- Annual self-assessment tax returns to be completely abolished in favour of ongoing digital accounts.
- Fuel duty escalator cancelled.
- No change to tobacco and gaming duties. Beer duty cut by 1p for third year in a row. Cider duty cut by 2%. Scotch whiskey by 2%. Wine duty frozen.
- Share of income tax paid by top 1% of earners will rise from 25% in 2010 to over 27% this year.
- Review into business rates launched.
- Banking sector to make bigger contribution: bank levy raised to 0.2% (raising £900m).
- PPI compensation to become offsettable expense.
- New measures to chase-up corporation tax that is owed.
- IHT deeds of variation to be tackled, following Autumn report into the matter.
- New punishments for tax evaders.
- Britain's GDP grew by 2.6% last year.
- Economic growth (GDP) forecasted to be: 2015, 2.5%; 2016, 2.3%; 2017, 2.3%; 2018, 2.3%; 2019, 2.4%.
- Record number of people (and women) in work. Lowest unemployment claim rate since 1975. Over 1.9 million jobs gained since start of austerity. 1,000 jobs a day created under Osborne's government.
- 80% of jobs are full-time. 80% in skilled occupations. Employment is growing fastest in north-west of England.
- Living standards higher in 2015 than 2010, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Households £900 better off in 2015 than 2010.
- Lowest inflation on record, driven by falling oil prices. Target to be 2%.
- We will lock-in low interest rates, helped by government gilts/bonds.
- New £1 coin, using emblems from all four nations.
- Government will sell £13 billion worth of mortgage assets from Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley. Will continue exit from Lloyds Bank, selling a further £9 billion of Lloyds shares.
- National debt to fall, as a share of GDP, to original debt target of 80.2% in 2015-16. Falling to 79.8% in 2016-17, then to 77.8% in 2017-18, then 77.4% and 71.6%. Squeeze in public spending to end a year earlier.
- Deficit was 10% of national income when Conservatives took over. Now half that, at 5% in 2015. Will fall to 4% in 2015-16 and 0.3% by 2019-2020.
- Admin costs of central govt down by 40%, [but] quality of public services has gone up. Crime is down 20%. One million more children attend good or outstanding schools. Inequality is down. Child poverty is down. Youth unemployment is down. Pensioner poverty at lowest level ever.
- New funds for charities and for permanent memorials to the Afghanistan and Iraq fallen.
- Nucelar test veterans to be helped financially. More money for spouses of police and fire people who die in service.
- Funds for new Essex & Herts, East Anglian, Welsh and Scottish air ambulances.
- Blood bank charities to have a refund of VAT. Plus £1m for defibrillators.
Transport / infrastructure
- Funding for wifi in public libraries. Ultrafast broadband to reach all homes in Britain.
- New transport strategy for the North. New city deal for Greater Manchester: it will be allowed to keep 100% of growth in business rates. Same deal for Cambridge.
- £100m investment in driverless technology.
- Church repair fund to be more than trebled.
- £7bn transport investment in south west. Plus new rail franchise for inter-city express trains.
- Eight new enterprise zones across Britain, including Plymouth.
- Toll rates on Severn Bridge to be reduced.