Surprise awaiting in Budget


Rarely can a Budget box have contained so few surprises - though the chancellor hopes that at least one remains - the extent to which he is willing to reform the tax system.

George Osborne has decided to take the political risk of cutting taxes on the earnings of the rich as well as those on more modest incomes.

He will insist that it can all be paid for by increasing the cost to the rich of buying their homes and capping the tax relief they can use to shield their income from the Revenue.

So, the 50p top tax rate will be cut - though not straight away and not all at once.

There'll also be an increase in the amount you can earn before paying any tax at all, to more than £9,000 from April next year.

Planned cuts to child benefit will be revised to affect fewer families.

The billions all this will cost look set to be paid for by higher stamp duty on the sale of homes worth £2m or more, curbs on what is now legal tax avoidance and, we're told, a cut in public spending beyond those already unveiled.

What that cut is remains - for a few hours longer - one of the few budget secrets.

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Hopefully the cut will be in the International Aid budget. It's good to wield influence in foreign countries by giving them aid, but with such tight spending constraints, now just isn't the right time. We won't have much international influence if we have a weak economy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    very generous of the chancellor to give a tax break to those who will never vote Tory.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    With the UK economy being in such a critical position. Both to the UK Business Owner and Ordinary Person, George Osborne has to get this one right. From decisions announced later today. This will be a major influence on whether the UK falls back into recession or he can put the economy back on the track to prosperity. Only time will tell.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    The "deliberate" leaking of the budget content is a retrogade step - it illustrates the contempt of the government for parliamentary debate.

    Let us return to the days when the Chancellor really did have something in his red box and we could look forward to the budget speech and the excitement of whether we were going to "win or lose".

    What is the point of the current process?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    #4 Mike I completely agree with you, am sick and tired of hearing on the so called news "...and tomorrow blah blah blah will happen..." and back to " blah blah blah happened..." the selected briefing of favoured journalists is a very murky affair indeed.


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