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Helping hand but more still needed
A HELPING hand was offered to businesses and families in an otherwise gloomy Budget announced by Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday.
In a largely pro-business Budget, every firm will benefit from a £2,000 cut in National Insurance bills, some 450,000 small firms will pay no employer National Insurance and Corporation Tax will be cut by 1 per cent to 20 per cent in2015.
Chris Marks, of Iapetus Gallery, Belle Vue Terrace, Great Malvern, said: “The cut in National Insurance makes a lot of sense because essentially it’s a tax on jobs.
For our business it makes it a bit more appealing to take on another employee.”
However, he added: “We need the Government to be more radical with ideas to get the economy going.”
Publicans will also be raising a glass to Mr Osborne, with April’s 3p rise in beer duty scrapped and replaced withacutby1p.
Andy Lannie, manager of the Red Lion Inn, Stiffords Bridge, near Malvern, said: “The 1p cut won’t really make a huge amount of difference but getting rid of the escalator is good news as it means we can start controlling our costs a bit more.”
Ann Holden, landlady of the Cross Keys pub, Malvern, said: “Most pubs have already had to put 10p on beer this year because of pressures from within the industry so this would have been a killer blow.”
She said it would take much more to revive the flagging fortunes of an industry that has been hit with relentless duty hikes and ever-increasing competition from supermarkets.
Families can take advantage of a 20 per cent tax relief on childcare up to £6,000 per child from 2015, while a rise in the personal allowance has been brought forward by a year to April 2014 – meaning no tax will bepaidonthe first £10,000 of people’s earnings. Andy Harrison says the Budget may be good for some but it “does not really help the average working family.”
The 48-year-old, who lives with wife Ali, 44, and son James, four, in Chestnut Drive, Fruitlands, Malvern, expects to be about £500 better off in terms of tax next yearbutlittle else.
Motorists should also benefit when filling up their cars atthe pumps, with September’s 3p fuel duty rise scrapped following pressure from motoring groups.
University of Worcester student Jo Williams, aged 22, of Stocks Lane, Newland, near Malvern, said: “Any decrease in petrol is welcome but 54p a week isn’t going to make that much of adifference.
“Instead, maybe they should lower bus and train fares."
KEY BUDGET POINTS
- 3p a litre fuel rise in September scrapped
- 1p cut in price of a pint. Beer duty escalator scrapped.
- Families to get help to buy new homes without having to save a massive deposit
- e Income tax-free personal allowance raised to £10,000 by 2014
- £2,000 off small firms’ national insurance bills
- 20per cent tax relief on childcare up to £6,000