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Budget2000 Tuesday, 21 March, 2000, 17:22 GMT
Budget at a glance
The main points of Chancellor Gordon Brown's Budget:


  • NHS spending to rise to 54.2bn in 2000-2001, to 58.6bn in 2001-2002, 63.5bn in 2002-3 and 68.7bn in 2003-4
  • Extra 2bn for NHS from 1 April
  • Spending per household on NHS to rise to 2,800 by 2004
  • Plans to recruit and train up to 10,000 more nurses
  • NHS allocations announced for four years


  • More 16 year olds to benefit from education maintenance allowance worth up to 30 a week
  • A total of 300m for new investment in schools
  • Primary schools to receive 3,000 to 9,000 payment in drive for literacy and numeracy
  • Schools offering special tuition will be able to draw on an extra 20m
  • In April, 3,500 secondary schools will receive between 30,000 and 50,000
  • Overall, extra 1bn for education from 1 April

    Transport and crime

  • Extra 280m available for transport
  • Extra 285m available to fight crime

    Tobacco and alcohol

  • Tobacco taxes to rise by 5% above inflation, all extra revenue to go to the NHS
  • New measures to tackle tobacco smuggling
  • Wine to rise by 4p a bottle
  • Beer to rise by 1p a pint
  • Duty on spirits frozen
  • Insurance tax frozen


  • New lower rates of air passenger duty (APD) on economy flights within the UK and to much of Europe
  • APD rates remain at 20 for flights outside Europe
  • New business class APD rate of 40 outside Europe
  • APD on flights from Scottish Highlands and Islands to be abolished

    Stamp duty

  • Stamp duty raised to 3% for purchases above 250,000 and 4% for purchases above 500,000
  • Consultation on reducing stamp duty for developments on brown-field sites

    Road and fuel tax

  • Vehicle excise duty rates for 38 and 41 tonne lorries cut by 500. Rate for 40 tonne lorries cut by 1,800. All other lorry rates frozen
  • New vehicle excise duty for newly purchased cars from 1 March 2001
  • Reduced vehicle excise duty rate extended to all cars at 1200cc or below
  • Vehicle excise duty for all cars frozen to 1 March 2001
  • Ultra-low-sulphur petrol duty to be set at 1p below other petrol from 1 October
  • No real terms increase in road fuel duty, up 2p a litre


  • Minimum income guarantee raised to 82 for single pensioner and for a pensioner over 80 it will be 90 a week
  • Winter fuel allowance raised by 50 to 150
  • "Affordable warmth" programme to install cheaper and energy-efficient heating for pensioners and others on low income
  • Cut-off point for income support eligibility for pensioners raised to savings of 12,000
  • Capital rules on minimum income guarantee doubled to 6,000 savings
  • Pensioners' tax allowance will be set at 5,790 for those aged 65-74 and 6,050 for over-75s


  • Government to add 25p to every pound given to charity
  • Government to add up to 50p of tax relief for every pound given through the pay roll
  • Companies to receive tax relief on full amount of donations from 1 April
  • Ticket sales for fund raising events to be exempt from tax


  • Integrated support for children by 2003
  • Children's tax credit to rise to 442 from its introduction next April
  • Network of children's funds to be set up in every region with cash allocated from the spending review
  • Poorest children to receive increase of 4.35 in weekly support

    Maternity benefits

  • Mothers on maternity leave to be able to stay on WFTC
  • Sure start maternity grant increased to 300
  • Review of maternity pay and parental leave


  • Tougher penalties for fraudulent claims to be imposed from 2001
  • Extra help for lone parents with children over the age of five
  • New deal to be extended to long term adult unemployed
  • New job grant for long term unemployed starting at 100 and help with rent or mortgage
  • Long term unemployed aged over 50 will be guaranteed a minimum income for first year back in work, 60 a week for wages up to 15,000
  • Working families tax credit to rise from next April from 200 to 214
  • New rules for work permits in information technology
  • 50 tax cut for electronic filing of WFTC
  • 100 tax cut for electronic filing of tax and VAT returns
  • Withholding tax on interest paid in international bonds to be abolished.
  • 40% capital allowance for small and medium sized businesses will be made permanent
  • 150m for new research and development costs
  • Tax reductions for small businesses buying computers or investing in technology
  • All employee shareholders to benefit from10% capital gains tax rate
  • New capital gains tax rates for business assets cut to 35% after one year, 30% after two years, 20% after three years, 10% after four years

    Public spending and borrowing

  • Current public spending to be increased by 2.5% a year for three years from 2001
  • Net borrowing in 2001-2 to be minus 5bn then plus 3bn from 2002-3
  • Net borrowing to be minus 6.5bn in 2000/2001
  • Current surplus forecast at 14bn next year and 16bn, 13bn, 8bn and 8bn in following years.
  • Debt to GDP ratio to fall to 33% by 2003-2004
  • Budget is in surplus by 12bn
  • Debt repayment of 12bn in 2000
  • Growth forecast to be 2.25% to 2.75% for 2001 and 2002
  • Growth forecast to rise to 2.75% to 3.25% for 2000
  • Growth in the British economy stood at 2% last year
  • Inflation is in line with 2.5% target which will be met for 2000, 2001, 2002

    Niall Dickson reports on the NHS
    "The biggest challenge will be finding the staff to make a faster service"
    Karen Allen reports on welfare reform
    "The budget will benefit the elderly"
    Mike Baker reports on education
    "The money was looking very tight"
    Rober Hall reports on transport
    "The overall reaction is luke warm"

    Talking PointTALKING POINT
    See also:

    21 Mar 00 | Budget2000
    21 Mar 00 | Budget2000
    21 Mar 00 | Budget2000
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