As I said in my earlier post, it’s Budget Day today.
In years gone by, I wasn’t exactly fanatical enough to take the day off and make notes like some people I knew, but I would take an interest and true to my number crunching nature, would begin the calculations of what it would mean to me.
The usual suspects are always booze, cigarettes and petrol, with the occasional bone thrown in about tax relief and thresholds being raised to take more people out of the tax bracket.
For those of us who don’t pay tax in the first place, this is as rewarding as a dose of hemorrhoids.
Neither of us smoke anymore (though we never seemed to be rolling in ‘saved money’ by kicking the habit 23 years ago) , nor are we drinkers, but we both drive so yesterday we filled up our vehicles and a couple of jerry cans just in case our beloved chancellor puts 10p a litre on fuel as from 6pm which is what usually happens.
There are rumours about stamp duty thresholds being raised to help the housing market, and extending schemes to help working parents with child care costs. That will only help us if someone comes along to buy our house and will give us an extra thousand pounds or so of spending power on what we buy next. As for child care, we don’t have kids.
Forgive me if I’m not very optimistic.
My opinion is very one sided (how things affect me and mine) , and being on a low income and everything we use or buy going up all the time, there is little incentive to get me excited about The Budget.
I am so tired of hearing those earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year saying how hard done by they are. I have nothing against them personally, but sometimes I think the ‘They who Have’ have no idea how things really are for ‘The Have Nots who are Struggling’. But then, why should they care about us lower classes anyway? I still see red at the Works and Pensions politician who smugly said he could live on £50 a week.
19th March afternoon.
Well, it’s a mixed bag, but not a lot will make me better off. Below are some of the hi-lights (my comments are in blue) .
Source BBC news:
The amount people earn before tax will go up by £500 to £10,500.
Wow. This will actually give people £100 a year more in their pocket (20% of £500 now tax free) if they are basic tax payers in the first place (so not us) .
The chancellor also froze petrol duty, cut bingo tax from 20% to 10%, froze Scotch whisky and cider duty and cut a further 1p from a pint of beer – but put the price of cigarettes up.
As I said, we don’t drink or smoke, but the petrol duty is good news. Just need the supermarkets to get their price wars going again and it might knock a couple of pence off a litre at the pumps.
Maybe I’ll start going back to Bingo (except my outlay is around £6 and prizes aren’t money, but food or gift vouchers as it is all charity run)
An extra £140m for repairs and maintenance to flood defences and £200m for potholes
The flood defences is excellent news provided it is intended for the Nation and not just London.
Hurrah! They might get round to fixing the pot hole outside our house properly (which incidentally has been filled and patted twice since my post)!
Reform of air passenger duty so all long haul flights carry the same tax rate as currently charged for flights to USA.
Not sure about this but if we can ever afford to go and see my brother, this might save us a few bob in airport taxes.
Stamp duty on homes worth more than £500,000 to rise to 15% for those bought by companies, as part of tax avoidance measures .
Ah, our house is an absolute bargain and only 1% stamp duty still applies.
Come buy, come buy!
Cash shares and ISAs to be merged into a single New ISA with an annual tax-free savings limit of £15,000 from 1 July. The limit for Junior ISAs will be raised to £4,000.
Not too sure about this one either as I have some savings in one of these. The hoot is having £15000 to invest in one to begin with when my income isn’t anywhere near the proposed new tax threshold anyway! The question is what will happen to all the existing ISAs?
However, those with children can now put more money into their offspring’s Junior ISAs.
He also outlined a new Pensioner Bond paying market leading rates to be available from January to all people over 65, with interest rates of 2.8% for one-year bonds and 4% for three-year bonds.
This doesn’t apply as we’re not old enough. Even if we were, how could we afford to tie up money on our limited income? There is bound to be a minimum investment as there is always a catch. Nothing mentioned about increasing interest rates for savers generally.
The cap on the amount of Premium Bonds a person can own will rise from £30,000 to £40,000 in June and £50,000 in 2015. The number of £1m winners will also be doubled.
Ha ha. I have 2 premium bonds purchased in 1972 and as you can only buy in multiples of £100 now, haven’t bought any since (no spare cash).
Higher rate income tax threshold will rise from £41,450 to £41,865 next month, and then by a further 1% to £42,285 next year.
That’s all the MPs happy then.
So there you have it. My unprofessional, amateur and personal view of how The Budget is going to improve my finances (not) .
We are due for a General Election next year.
To me, this is just a carrot for the voter on a very long stick.