The KLFM Guide to the Budget
4:38pm 19th March 2014
First off, the Chancellor George Osbourne says we're doing better.
Our economy is growing.
The deficit (that's the amount of extra cash we borrow each year) is down and we'll stop borrowing any more money by 2019.
The total debt (the amount our government owes to banks and other countries) will go up for another few years, but then after 2019, we will be able to start paying it off.
The argument is that although cuts are bad, once we pay off some of our debt, we'll pay less interest, and then we'll have more money to spend.
He's also predicting our wages should go up by more than inflation this year, so good news all round.
Growth is up - that means more money is coming in to the country meaning more jobs and all the rest.
No direct cuts to budgets of local councils this time, but promises of more cuts to come and "further savings in all departments."
A cap on welfare - This is a small sentence but will affect a lot of people in West Norfolk and Wisbech. Reform may make things better in the longer term, but it's going to be a very worrying time for a lot of people.
Always a popular one - HMRC is getting more money to track down people and companies trying to dodge tax, and the rules are being tightened up. This will hopefully bring in £millions, which will help us pay off that debt.
Companies that buy property as investments (and oftern leave them lying empty) will be made to pay 15% in stamp duty unless they are rented out.
Any fines given to banks for fixing things like the LIBOR rate (how much they pay each other in interest) will go to military charities, search and rescue teams, lifeboats, scouts, guides, and St John Ambulance.
Inshore Lifeboats and Air Ambulances will also not have to pay VAT on their fuel any more.
Private Jets will pay more Air Passenger Duty.
More funding for small building firms.
Regeneration of run down urban areas.
A big City Deal for Cambridge that may affect places like Wisbech.
Lots more homes need to be built.
Funding for flood defences and £200million for pothole repairs. That will go down well with local councils and voters.
More investment in apprenticeships, and degree level apprenticeships.
High Street shops will get £1000 off their business rates. Good news for the small shops in towns around West Norfolk, and great news for us shoppers if more places open up as a result.
Businesses will also get a cash bonus if they employ new people.
There is also good news for people like Palm Paper as there will be help with energy bills for high use businesses so they can hopefully employ more people.
What we pay
From next April you will be able to earn £10,500 without paying any income tax.
There's help towards childcare.
The petrol / deisel tax rise that was due in September will not happen.
Slot machines will now have to pay more tax, as will bookmakers who are based off shore.
Bingo halls though, will see their taxes cut to protect jobs (and nights out for your gran)
Tobacco duty up by 2% above inflation.
Scottish Whiskey and English Cider will not be taxed any further. There's also a penny off a pint of beer.
You can now have a cash / stock ISA and save £15,000 a year with no tax on the interest you earn.
Child ISAs will be able to have £4000 a year put into them.
This is the biggest change but it's pretty complicated. Basically, we all get more control. You'll pay less tax if you get a lump sum on retirement. You can choose how much you take out once you retire.
And that's it!
We'll have continuing reaction to what all this means over the next few days on KLFM so stay tuned and have your say!