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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 18:03 GMT
Have Your Say: Budget expectations
Chancellor Gordon Brown

The Chancellor Gordon Brown has now delivered his eleventh and probably final Budget.

On the same day, the long-awaited Lyons Inquiry into local government funding was also published.

We asked what you would like to see in this year's Budget?

What changes would you make to specific taxes such as inheritance tax and stamp duty?

Do you think council tax reform should be a priority this year? If so, what changes would you like to see?

You can read a selection of your comments below.

We both feel strongly that Council Tax should have nothing to do with the property you live in but be linked to income - with no upper limit. So, the more one earns, the more one pays. The wealthy might not like it, but it would be fair and cheaper to collect.
Mr and Mrs Patrick Dillon, Somerset

Reinstate inheritance tax at a lower threshold. People who earn the money should spend the money. Children should earn their own. By the well-off passing their wealth down the generations, the rich get richer and the differential between rich and poor increases.
John, Port Talbot

You can have joint bank accounts, so why not joint tax free savings accounts?
Neil, Ryde
I would like to see a new savings tax incentive for married couples, to be called the JOISA, for Joint Savings Account. I can see no real reason why tax free savings accounts should be restricted to individuals as they are at present. You can have joint bank accounts, so why not joint tax free savings accounts? These would not need to be in place of the ISA, but additional to it. Joint accounts have various advantages, so how about it?
Neil, Ryde

Council Tax is profoundly unfair and should be replaced - perhaps with a local income tax, easily assessed from our tax returns. I am 70 and have contributed to pension schemes up to the age of 65. Working through the high inflation years of the 70s and earlier, the value of long-term pension contributions has been slashed in real terms, but the same inflation has vastly increased the value of my house. So, I am "asset rich, cash poor". All unavoidable taxation should be based solely on the ability to pay. The government should stick VAT and taxes on luxury or optional goods and services if they must, but relieve us of this threatening burden on our retirement.
L Millar, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan

The Personal Allowance should be increased by 10,000 and all other allowances abolished. Keep it simple and encourage people to work. Scrap the 10% tax, it costs HMRC millions to administrate it. Double Road Tax on vehicles over 2.5 litres. Scrap Pension Credit and many other benefits.
Michael Stevens, Cheltenham

Every year, we hear about millions of pounds not being claimed by legitimate claimants. What actually happens to all this unclaimed money? In theory, this money is taken into account within the monetary Budget as if it was going to be claimed. If it isn't, I assume that it becomes a "Brucie Bonus" for the government. Surely this money if not claimed within the appropriate timescales, should, or could, be used to specifically finance good causes and schemes, rather than being used as a balancing item for the government to say that they didn't actually spend as much as anticipated and didn't they do well.
Javier Freire-Banos, Bristol

I dread the revaluation
Kate Aan de Wiel, London
Council Tax breaks the first, fundamental law of taxation - it is not related to the ability to pay. My demand this year is for 1,480 - 10% of my average annual income. I am a tourist guide, and have to live in London - I can't leave. I dread the revaluation. Through no fault or desire of mine, house prices in London have gone through the roof even in the fairly grotty area I live in. I can barely afford to maintain my house and the tax I will have to pay means I can afford that much less maintenance. At 61, I can't get a high salary job anymore but nor do I qualify for any help.
Kate Aan de Wiel, London

The Treasury has given me comparative 2006 rates of inflation (all items except housing): 3.53% pensioner couples and 4.48% single pensioners. I'm single and my state pension is to be increased by only 3.62% and allowances and income limits not much more. These should be rectified and lost ground made up.
Richard Henning, Cambridge

It seems to me that the Council Tax is fundamentally unfair in the way it is calculated. My bill would be around 1,000 except that by living alone I get the single occupant 25% discount so I pay 750. Four adults in an identical house in my road pay the full 1,000 - that's just 250 each. So for using four times the resources that I do they pay a third of what I have to pay. In practice, their use of resources is even greater as they have children. Can anyone explain to me the logic and justification for this inequity?
Robert Davey, Birmingham

Our Council Tax is due to rise by 4.9%. As a pensioner struggling to pay the bills, I find this a further cause for stress because we don't get a parallel increase in income. Allowances should be made for pensioners.
MJ Harvey, Plymouth

In this term I've seen the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and I've had enough
Ray Griffiths, Exeter
No doubt the chancellor will take the easy option and hit the motorist again - and again and again. I've been a Labour supporter all my life, but no longer. In this term I've seen the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and I've had enough.
Ray Griffiths, Exeter

Stamp Duty: Mr Brown, please "smooth out" stamp duty on house purchases. Spare us all the odium and stress involved when the sale price is just over a breakpoint. The "slab" system is illogical. Should tax not be smooth and progressive? If income tax were levied in the same way as stamp duty, certain wage earners would be in the crazy position of begging for a pay cut to increase their take-home!
Martin Trott, Witney

In your item on council tax, you seemed to focus on the poor deal for property owners. You failed to think about tenants who pay rent - they get a poorer deal than property owners on a fixed income. As a rent payer, I think it is unfair that I should be paying according to what my property is worth - because I do not benefit from its value. Most social landlord tenants are either unemployed or in low paid jobs and as such they can not afford their own home. It is also impossible to move from one property to another in order to pay cheaper council tax.
Simone, London

Council Tax: what an unreasonable way of collecting tax - a tax that increases by more than inflation every year, is applied regardless of one's ability to pay and a promise of a prison sentence if you don't. What do I think: Does it matter? How do I feel: helpless! What am I going to do: what I have always done - get on with life in spite of it. Life is too short.
Ernie, Carmarthen

Council Tax at present is grossly unfair as it takes no account of ability to pay. People on fixed incomes pay a hugely disproportionate amount of their gross income on this tax. If Income Tax - which pays for the armed forces, NHS, roads and a myriad of other national services - is logically based, why on earth should Council Tax not be? Many pensioners pay in excess of 10% of their income on Council Tax. My suggestion is that CT should be allowable as a tax deduction with suitable clawback mechanisms for high wage earners to bring some degree of equity into this discredited system.
R Harbidge, Dover

There is often no financial incentive to find employment
Chris Grey, Guildford
People on benefits risk losing them if they do some part time work. Hence there is often no financial incentive to find employment and sometimes an actual disincentive. Over his 10 years, Gordon Brown has greatly worsened this problem. I would like to see people on benefits being encouraged by keeping a reasonable proportion of their earnings. After all, the country's highest earners pay income tax at no more than 40%.
Chris Grey, Guildford

If we must have Council Tax, then it should be on people, not property, and made fairer.
JP Peters, Chigwell

I was born on 29 April 1935. The Inland Revenue offered my wife and I a year's Income Tax rebate (1963-64) if we married before 6 April 1964. We married on 21 March 1964. On 21 March 2002 (our 38th anniversary) Gordon Brown stole our Married Couple's Allowance because he deemed I was born 24 days too late! We, like many thousands of OAPs, pay almost 600 extra Income Tax from our pensions. That retrospective dictum should be revoked. The stolen allowance should be restored entirely, with tax free relative interest, immediately!
Mr Thomas I Anderson, Forres

Council Tax reform is not a priority at this time. More importantly, any future review should aim merely to correct inequalities which have arisen since 1991, i.e. the total Council Tax "take" should remain unchanged. Any reform which raises more revenue overall is merely another stealth tax.
John Morehen, Newark

Whatever Brown does or doesn't put in the Budget, you can bet your bottom dollar that on all the TV and radio interviews a familiar complaint will be that "there was nothing in it for me!". Every single year, interviewees consistently rue that the chancellor hasn't "given something back" to savers, spenders, earners, claimers, old people, young people, parents etc. I think the BBC should spend some time educating people on what taxes are for - i.e. you're not supposed to get it all back!
Peter Harris, Wigan

I hope that in this Budget the chancellor stops the "hard working families" line. Tax payers pay tax. People get benefits. It's an employers business to decide if an employee is hard working or not - not Gordon Brown's.
Keith, Edinburgh

All parties seem to agree that people at all income levels should be encouraged to put money aside for retirement. But, because tax relief on pension contributions is given at marginal rates, those who least need it get the largest subsidy i.e. 40% compared with 22%, or 10% for those on average incomes or below. If there is a case for subsidising pension contributions (and I think there is) surely it should be at the same rate for everybody. I suggest a figure of 30% across the board, given at source so that only the net amount need be paid to the pension plan provider. This would encourage the lower paid while still offering adequate reward to those on above-average incomes.
Bob Hersee, Hayling Island, Hants

Abolish inheritance tax, as it is a duplication tax.
Vinod Gosai, London

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

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