Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 16:27 UK

The 'squeeze' families

KAREN NORRIS, STAY AT HOME MUM, PETERHEAD
Karen and Clive Norris with their two children

Not a great deal has been done for us. Fuel tax has gone up again and my husband drives to work so that will hit us hard. The car scrappage scheme doesn't make much sense. If you are driving a ten year old car it is unlikely that you can afford to buy a new one anyway so a £2,000 discount doesn't really help.

Raising child tax credits also doesn't help us much. I have bought my daughter shoes for school that cost around £50 so raising it by £20 when there's a whole school uniform to buy and more, is not a great help.

No one expected this budget to be a hand out but it seems to hurt people who are of low income but not in debt. I don't think that spending money will help our economy recover.

BARRIE LESTER, ELECTRONICS ENGINEER, BOURNEMOUTH
Barrie Lester and his partner Natalie

There were not too many surprises in the budget this time, but there were a couple of points that stood out for me. The car scrappage scheme is interesting. On the surface it sounds like a good idea, but to get involved I would have to borrow to pay the cost of a new car, so the discount would not really be of any use to me.

The other point was that I was surprised not to hear about VAT in this round. I would be happy to spend a few more pence to try and get the economy moving again.

At least we can be happy about our savings being safe this time around though so there is something to be happy about. It's also good to see that even in hard times we can make room to use money to help the environment.

STUART KIDMAN, SUB-EDITOR, BANBURY
Stuart and Holly Kidman with their baby

I thought that Alistair Darling was being overly optimistic about the economy this time. It sounded like an uplifting budget but it was not really changing things a great deal. The couple of areas that I was pleased to see were the increase in the annual limit for ISAs and the child tax credits, they are good.

I read a comment on the BBC website that this could be considered the first "carbon budget" and there are a couple of features with the car scrappage scheme and money being spent on wind farms and energy efficiency certainly make it look this way.

The increase on fuel duty won't be great for me, I have a new job where I have to drive further to each way to get to work. But I have been cycling and we recently got rid of our second car before my job changed so maybe things balance out somewhere.

Generally for the economy I do not think that this budget is too positive, I don't think it shows a great impression of the recession, but personally, I don't have much to complain about.

COLIN MCCORMICK, VIDEO TRANSFER BUSINESS OWNER, DEVON
Colin McCormick and family

As a family I don't think that this budget will affect us much. The ISAs increase would be of help, but we are thinking of moving house maybe next year so by the time it comes around it might not be useful to us after all.

I am glad that VAT has not been increased even more. I think they should have left it alone rather than changing it and then changing it back later in the year, I don't think that it helps the economy.

The car scrappage scheme doesn't make any sense. I think it is not good for the environment. If someone is thinking of buying a new car, it is unlikely that they are driving an old banger. So scrapping it will not help.

Generally, I think we will end up with a balance personally. The child tax credits going up will help as we have one little person in the house and we are expecting another one in June, but the small amount that we use our car will be affected by the fuel increase. Mostly I wish that there had been a little more thought put into the stamp duty. We would like to think about moving into a family home and a relevant price on stamp duty would have been really helpful. The fact is that there are no family homes around here for under £175000 so it really doesn't help at all.



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