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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 13:48 GMT
Q&A: The pre-Budget report and you
Hands and coins
Will you be richer or poorer as a result of the report?

Chancellor Gordon Brown has just delivered his tenth pre-Budget report. What impact will the changes have on the personal finances of millions of Britons?

I am a motorist. I hear that there is some financial pain in store?

The big news for you is that fuel duty increases are back with a bang.

Three years on from the last duty increase, 1.25p is being added to the cost of a litre of petrol.

But the increase is only in line with inflation.

After the fuel protests in 2000, the government backed away from future increases in petrol duty.

But the goalposts have since shifted.

World oil prices have fallen and the government's Stern review set out the case for using taxation to encourage people to behave more environmentally friendly.

PRE-BUDGET REPORT
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However the chancellor said also that the fuel escalator - introduced by the Conservatives to raise fuel duty above inflation automatically - will not be re-imposed.

It was the fuel escalator that helped spark the 2000 fuel protests.

My husband is flying out to see relatives in Canada next year, what is this I hear about him having to pay more tax?

It is true that your husband will have to pay more for his flight.

Air Passenger Duty is doubling for long and short haul destinations.

For people flying to EU countries economy class the hit is not particularly substantial, from February they will pay 10 in duty as opposed to 5.

Long haul passengers will be liable to a 40 charge up from 20 a present.

But for people going further-a-field or flying business or first class the tax hike is hefty.

Air passenger Duty to EU countries on non-economy class tickets rises from 10 to 20.

Long haul non-economy class passengers will have to pay 80 in duty.

I am a saver, is there any reason for me to celebrate?

There is some good news.

The chancellor confirmed that Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) will continue beyond 2010.

The popular savings vehicle - some 16 million Britons have an ISA - allow people to save or invest up to 7,000 tax free each year.

But there was no indication that the 7,000 limit, set in 1999, will rise.

Therefore, in real terms the value of money you can put away each year tax-free is falling.

I am a pensioner is there anything for me?

The increase to the state pension for next year has already been announced. At present, increases are linked to inflation.

The chancellor said that from April the pension credit minimum guarantee will rise by 5 a week for single people over 60 and 7.65 a week for couples.

As for the winter fuel payment, this has been previously set at 200 and guaranteed for the duration of this parliament.

The over-80s will enjoy an additional 100 in winter fuel payments.

The chancellor resisted calls from pressure groups and charities including Energywatch, Save the Children and Citizens Advice to extend winter fuel payments to all vulnerable groups such as lone parents and the disabled.

The chancellor reported on the government's commitment to install central heating and insulation in pensioner homes.

To date 2.8m households have been helped to insulate their homes. A further 300,000 households are to be offered free insulation and central heating.

I have children. What extra help is available to me?

Gordon Brown
This is Gordon Brown's tenth pre-Budget report

Additional child benefit will be paid to mothers with new babies.

In April, benefit payments for the poorest children will rise to 64 a week.

And investment in education was marked out as a priority.

Money is being put aside for the updating of all secondary schools in England.

In addition, greater investment is being made in apprenticeship schemes. This could boost your children's prospects of finding employment when they leave school

A relative has died and I stand to inherit some money. Will I pay more or less tax as a result of the pre-Budget report?

Some accountancy firms suggested that the chancellor might use his tenth pre-Budget report to radically overhaul the inheritance tax (IHT) system.

IHT is becoming a major bugbear for middle Britain.

Because of rising house prices an increasing number of people are finding that their estates are worth enough to be potentially subject to IHT.

It was suggested that the chancellor might decide to dispense with the current arrangement, where everything over a certain threshold (285,000 in the 2006-2007 tax year) is taxed at 40%, in favour of a system of tiered rates.

However, the chancellor has decided to stick to the current system.

There is some cheer to be had, though. The IHT threshold is set to rise to 300,000 in April, which is an above-inflation increase.

I am an employee. Will I be paying more tax?

The chancellor announced that personal allowances, which is the amount of money you can earn before income tax becomes payable, will go up in line with inflation.

Likewise, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) will go up in line with inflation.

Income tax personal allowances 2007-2008
Personal allowance for under 65s rises from 5,035 to 5,225
Personal allowance for age 65-74 rises from 7,280 to 7,550
Personal allowance for age 75 and over rises from 7,420 to 7,690
Married couple's allowance born before 6 April 1935 rises from 6,065 to 6,285
Married couple's allowance age 75 and over rises from 6,135 and 6,365

However, the increases in personal allowances and national insurance are just below the average rise in wages.

As a result, taxpayers will continue to suffer what economists call 'fiscal drag'.

This means that as wages grow faster than tax allowances, a greater proportion of your income ends up being taxed or falling into a higher tax bracket.

And the chancellor announced a new measure to clamp down on tax avoidance.

Time is being called on composite or managed service companies.

These companies are widely used to supply individual contractors to big companies in the UK.

HM Revenue & Customs has been worried that these companies are avoiding - or evading - income tax and NICs, and has said that it will bring forward new rules to prevent this.

Is there anything else?

Taking to the theme of a 'green' pre-Budget, the Chancellor announced that stamp duty is to be cut on experimental carbon zero homes.

Zero carbon homes are constructed from renewable materials and use environmentally friendly means of power generation.

The chancellor said by 2016 he wants all new homes built to be zero carbon homes.




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