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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The day of regressive budgets hitting ordinary people hard

So today it was budget day in the UK and over in Ireland. News and comments are still filtering through and I haven’t read them all in full and will probably depress myself if I did so but what is clear is that these budgets are austerity budgets designed to further the pain on ordinary people the working and middle class’s All this is to pay for a crisis not of our making, this is as I’ve stated many many times now is a crisis of capitalism and no wonder George Osborne has missed his deficit targets as he is increasing the deficit rather than looking to cut it. What he is cutting though is the fabric of our society, all we’ve ever fought for our welfare state, our NHS you name it it is all up for grabs under this government. Below is how the BBC saw the main points from the budget. As we can see there are increases in areas but this will be offset by bigger cuts elsewhere such as local government, NHS, welfare and major benefits. All the measures like housing fall way short of what we need and the idea of teachers pay linked to performance is a joke. FUEL The 3p-a-litre increase in fuel duty, planned for next January, is cancelled ECONOMIC GROWTH Predicted to be -0.1% in 2012, down from 0.8% predicted in the Budget Forecasts for next few years are: 1.2% in 2013, 2% in 2014, 2.3% 2015, 2.7% in 2016 and 2.8% in 2017 BENEFITS AND PENSIONS Most working-age benefits to rise by 1% for each of next three years From 2014-15 lifetime pension relief allowance to fall from £1.5m to £1.25m - annual allowance cut from £50,000 to £40,000 Basic state pension to rise by 2.5% next year to £110.15 a week Child benefit to rise by 1% for two years from April 2014 Local housing allowance rates to rise in line with existing policy next April but increases in the following two years capped at 1% Changes to welfare to save £3.7bn by 2015/16 TAXES AND ALLOWANCES Basic income tax threshold to be raised by £235 more than previously announced next year, to £9,440 Threshold for 40% rate of income tax to rise by 1% in 2014 and 2015, from £41,450 to £41,865 and then £42,285 Main rate of corporation tax to be cut by extra 1% to 21% from April 2014 Temporary doubling of small business rate relief scheme to be extended by further year to April 2014 Inheritance tax threshold to be increased by 1% next year Bank levy rate to be increased to 0.130% next year. £5bn over six years expected from treaty with Switzerland to deal with undisclosed bank accounts HM Revenue and Customs budget will not be cut ISA contribution limit to be raised to £11,520 from next April Prosecutions for tax evasions up 80% - with anti-abuse rule to come in next year No new tax on property value No net rise in taxes in Autumn Statement GOVERNMENT BORROWING Point at which debt predicted to begin falling delayed by a year to 2016/17 Deficit forecast to fall this year, as is cash borrowing Deficit to fall from 7.9% to 6.9% of GDP this year, and to continue falling to 1.6% by 2017/18 Borrowing forecast to fall from £108bn this year to £31bn in 2017/18 £33bn saving to be made on interest debt payment predicted two years ago Deficit fallen by a quarter in last two years Bradford and Bingley and Northern Rock Asset Management brought on to balance sheet, adding £70bn to national debt GOVERNMENT SPENDING Period of austerity to be extended by another year to 2017/18 Departments to reduce spending by 1% next year and 2% year after Local government budgets to be cut by 2% in 2014 Government spending as share of GDP predicted to fall from 48% in 2009/10 to 39.5% in 2017/18 Spending review to take place in first half of next year JOBS AND TRAINING Unemployment expected to peak at 8.3%, lower than the previous prediction of 8.7% Employment set to rise in each year of the parliament Since general election, 1.2 million jobs created in the private sector TRANSPORT Extra £1bn to roads, including upgrading A1, A30, and M25 £1bn loan to extend London's Northern Line to Battersea EDUCATION AND FAMILIES £1bn to improve good schools and build 100 new free schools and academies £270m for further education colleges Teachers' pay to be linked to performance INFRASTRUCTURE Ultra-fast broadband expansion in 12 cities: Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Oxford, Portsmouth, Salford, York, Newport, Aberdeen, Perth and Derry-Londonderry £600m for scientific research Annual infrastructure investment now £33bn £1bn extra capital for Business Bank Gas Strategy to include consultation on incentives for shale gas HOUSING Funding to assist building of up to 120,000 homes OVERSEAS AID Promise to spend 0.7% on development to be honoured next year, but not exceeded

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