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Have Your Say: Pre-Budget report

Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown visiting Westminster Children's Society in London ahead of the pre-budget report
Child benefit increases take effect in January - three months early

This week the chancellor unveiled a range of measures which he said would help families and pensioners on modest incomes.

Increases in child benefit were brought forward; child credit and pension credit levels were increased and pensioners and those with disabled children will get one off payments.

Are you better or worse off after the pre-Budget report?

What else would you have liked to see changed?

How much do you think the report will reduce the impact of the recession?

We asked for your comments, a selection of which are below. The debate is now closed.


With all the banks broke, and people drowning in debt, just where does a government borrow a trillion pounds? Or will they just print it, leading to massive inflation?
Derek Hartopp, Onchan, Isle of Man

Buy 46 get one free

John Chambers, Tadworth, Surrey

The 2.5% reduction in VAT should result in price falls of 2.13%, or exactly 1p in every 47p. Perhaps retailers could increase turnover by keeping their prices but giving away every 47th chocolate bar, flat-screen television, or whatever. B46GOF - buy 46 get one free.
John Chambers,Tadworth, Surrey

There seems to be an assumption that pensioners are not affected by the loss of the 10% tax rate. I receive the highest tax allowance for over 75s and received the state retirement increase of 3.9%, yet my modest work retirement pension net income was reduced by 5.25 per week. Last tax year I paid tax of 475, this year it is 748. The extra 50 will be welcome, but is this fair?
Irene, Swindon

So much for kick starting the economy
Gary Sollis, Blandford Forum
I'm a self employed contractor on the VAT flat rate scheme. My pay-back to the HMRC has remained in the same banding rate however with the lowering of the VAT I pay back relatively more. I will now be worse off by approximately 1,600 per year. So much for kick starting the economy!
Gary Sollis, Blandford Forum

I think that for 2009 most lower/middle income people will be a bit better off, though a lot has been taken away by increasing petrol and excise duties to compensate for VAT reductions. That means it comes down to tax allowances and frankly they are making us feel grateful for retaining what we should have got and kept in the current tax year, whilst giving additional allowance at below inflation rates. In 2010 and beyond I expect it all to be taken back to pay government debt.
Sandy Middlemas, London

Am I surprised?
Peter Grainger, Reading
Contacting HM Revenue and Customs for clarification, although all businesses have to reduce the VAT charged by 2.5% , the amount that small businesses on flat rate VAT have to pay (to HMRC) is something less than that (1.5% reduction in my case). So here we have the government secretly introducing another stealth tax on small businesses without any announcement, the very companies that they claim to want to help. Am I surprised? Not with this government.
Peter Grainger, Reading

My son has a small business. He does not account for VAT but is on the scheme whereby he invoices 17.5% he remits 12.5%. He has HMRC notification to reduce to 15% but has not been told about any reduction on the 12.5%. His company is profitable but others will need the 2.5% to pay bills and wages.
W Stevens, Stirling

The government increased the capital requirements of banks ostensibly to strengthen their financial viability because of the imbalance between savings received and loans made. The obvious long-term remedy is to attract more savings and make fewer loans but the government is also saying that the banks must continue to lend as before. This is contradictory. Now the government is threatening to nationalise the banks if they do not do as they are told. Is this prudent and a best course of action for our savings let alone any shareholding in the banks? Is it time to move our money to the Channel Iles with safe banks like Santander and the like?
Ray Seymour, Bedford

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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External internet links
29 Nov 08 |  Moneybox
Pre-Budget report: Your questions
03 Dec 08 |  Moneybox
At-a-glance: Pre-Budget report
25 Nov 08 |  Politics
Q&A: The PBR and you
25 Nov 08 |  Business
Pre-Budget Report - the documents
24 Nov 08 |  Business
Webchat: You asked the tax expert
25 Nov 08 |  Have Your Say
MPs get emergency budget debate
25 Nov 08 |  Politics
Darling unveils borrowing gamble
24 Nov 08 |  Politics
Average earners 'lose out' in PBR
25 Nov 08 |  Business
The paradox of thrift
24 Nov 08 |  Business

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