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The Financial Times
Employers forced into boost for low-paid
£12bn of benefits cut
‘Super tax’ on bank profits
George Osborne proclaimed a “new settlement” yesterday to end Britain’s high-welfare, low-wage economy, in one of the most radical and ambitious Budgets in years in which he cut £12bn of benefits from the working poor but ordered companies to share the pain by paying a new “national living wage”.
Barclays fired Antony Jenkins as its chief executive yesterday after he clashed with the head of its investment bank over the future of the troubled division.
Slowdown in economic growth to continue short-term as spending cuts take effect
George Osborne’s decision to smooth the pace of austerity has pushed down the growth outlook for this year— but nudged it upwards slightly in subsequent years, the Office for Budgetary Responsibility said yesterday.
Low earners targeted as hourly rate set to rise to £9.35 in five years’ time
George Osborne has made a bold bet he can force employers to pay higher wages to millions of workers without jeopardising the record level of employment in Britain that was the biggest success story of his first term in office.
‘New settlement’ sees rightwing cuts alongside raids on banks and rich
HM Revenue & Customs is expected to raise £7.2 bn from a crackdown on tax fraud, offshore trusts and the hidden economy that will be funded with £800m of additional investment
Delight tempered by fears over cost of paying staff higher minimum wages
Businesses welcome an unasked for cut in corporation tax that will take the UK’s rate to the lowest in the G20, although some questioned whether it would offset government-mandated pay rises.
George Osborne has been accused of turning to a “stealth tax” to raise funds after increasing a levy on insurance policyholders by almost 60 per cent
Employers have raised concerns about the chancellor’s plan to fund apprenticeships through a levy on large businesses, warning the policy is a “blunt tool” in driving up standards of vocational training.
Unveiling the policy yesterday, George Osborne said that while many firms do a “brilliant job” in skilling their workforces, there are still too many big companies who “leave the training to others and take a free ride on the system”.
Increase in higher-rate and personal allowance thresholds from next year
Millions of individuals are set to pay less tax from next year after George Osborne announced plans to raise the income tax personal allowance threshold and increase the 40p higher-rate level.
The Chancellor has reinstated a dedicated road tax in the UK for the first time since the 1930s, overhauling levies on new cars and pledging to use the money to improve Britain’s highway network.
More than two-thirds of cars sold in the UK now have such low carbon-emission ratings that they pay no vehicle excise duty for the first year, putting pressure on revenues raised by the Treasury from motoring taxes.
To address the falling receipts, George Osborne said that the government would introduce from April 2017 a banding system pegged to emissions in one of the biggest reforms of motoring taxation in recent years.
Companies and Markets
Julie Hemp, the former Toyota executive arrested in Japan on suspicion of illegally importing a prescription drug, was released yesterday without charge after 20 days in detention
Group head who flagged up potential of Surrey site to ‘focus on other interests’
Working families with children could lose £5,000 a year under the government’s measures to save £12 billion in welfare cuts by the end of this parliament, it was claimed last night.
Public sector unions were infuriated by George Osborne’s announcement that wage rises for teachers, health workers and police officers would be capped at 1 per cent for the next four years. The move follows a two-year pay freeze from 2010 and a 1 per cent pay cap since then for the country’s six million public sector workers, who have also had to pay higher pension contributions.
The public sector is facing a much easier ride after the Office for Budget Responsibility endorsed the government’s spending cuts, saying they avoided the threat of government departments being asked to find savings of more than £40 billion.
Large companies will have to pay corporation tax earlier than ever after the government said that businesses making more than £20 million in a year would have to bring forward their payments by four months.
The government will establish the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) on a permanent basis with an expanded brief and the capacity to “play a greater role in public debate”.
The profitability of British companies is close to a 17-year high— excluding banks and North Sea operators— according to official figures.
The Daily Telegraph
Drivers of the most expensive cars on the road will be hit by a “premium” £450-a-year annual road tax bill to fund road construction
Millions of British households and businesses will be hit with higher insurance costs after a “stealth” tax rise announced in yesterday’s Budget.
Devolution in England “has only just begun”, George Osborne has said, as he promised more power for cities in an attempt to boost economic growth across the country.
Police in Northern Ireland have launched an investigation into allegations of a political pay-off in a high value property deal.
Small business owners and investors have been hit by a £6.8bn tax raid under changes to the dividend taxation system. Tax experts say it may lead many to consider selling up before the rules are implemented.
Small firms will benefit from an extension of the annual investment allowance, which allows businesses to make 100pc tax-deductible investments in equipment, plant and machinery.
A new levy on tobacco companies has been ruled out because duties on cigarettes are already rising and the cost of the tax would be likely to be borne by the consumer.
Capping public-sector pay growth will spare 200,000 jobs, it is estimated, as the Government seeks to keep a lid on salary costs.
The Daily Mail
Petrol and diesel tax was frozen for another year yesterday as the Chancellor sought to help Britain’s hard-pressed motorists
The Government is exploring the option of allowing motorists with new cars to get their first MOT after four years compared to the current three.
Businesses will receive higher relief on employees’ National Insurance contributions (NIC) in a boost for thousands of firms.
Discussion of the Budget