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EDITIONS
NEWS Tuesday, 9 March, 1999, 17:40 GMT
Budget at-a-glance
At-a-glance guide to Chancellor Gordon Brown's 1999 Budget statement:

Taxation

  • Basic rate of income tax to be cut to 22p from next April.

  • New 10p starting rate of tax to be introduced from April 1999 on first 1,500 of income.

  • Tax on tobacco will increase by 5% above inflation, putting 17.5p on packet of 20 cigarettes.

  • No tax rise on alcohol.

  • Mortgate tax relief (Miras) to be withdrawn from April 2000.

  • VAT unchanged.

  • Insurance premium tax up by 1p from July.

  • Capital gains tax exemption to rise to 7,100 from 6,800 from April.

  • Inheritance tax to remain at the current rate but threshold to rise to 231,000 from 223,000.

  • Stamp duty unchanged on homes up to 250,000 - above that up by 0.5%.

  • Tax cut on pools will be cut by 17.5% from 28 March.

  • Pensioner couples to pay no tax on first 15,000 of their income. Single pensioners will not pay tax until their income exceeds 5,720.

  • No National Insurance Contribution (NIC) on first 87 of weekly earnings. NIC lower earnings limit to be aligned with income tax, a cut worth 99 a year for every worker.

    Extra spending

  • 500m for the NHS to upgrade accident and emergency departments across the UK.

  • Further funding for public transport to be announced by the deputy prime minister.

  • Extra 100m for inner-city schools to upgrade technology.

  • 2,000 to every school for books.

  • 170m for crime prevention.

  • Extra capital spending of 50m for Northern Ireland, 80m for Wales, and 165m for Scotland.

    Family

  • National Savings to issue new pensioner bonds.

  • Winter allowance for the elderly to be raised to 100 a year.

  • Minimum income guarantee for single pensioners to be 78 a week or 121 a week for pensioner couples.

  • All mothers earning 30 a week or more will be entitled to maternity pay.

  • Child benefit will increase to 15 for first child and 10 for the second child.

  • Child benefit will not be taxed on the basic rate or top rate.

  • Married couples' tax allowance to be replaced with new children's tax credit. Pensioner couples to retain married couples' allowance.

  • Children's tax credit to be worth 416 and introduced from April 2001.

    Environment

  • Landfill tax to rise by 1 per tonne per year until April 2004.

  • Tax-free green transport for employees.

  • Company car reform to encourage use of fuel-efficient cars.

  • Licence fees for lorries and buses with clean engines will be cut by up to 1,000.

  • Vehicle excise duty frozen for 98% of lorries.

  • Vehicle excise duty for small cars cut by 55 from June.

  • Leaded and unleaded petrol up by 4.25p and 3.79p a litre respectively, diesel up by 6.14p a litre, ultra-low sulphur diesel up by 4.96p a litre.

    Employment, enterprise and education

  • New deal to be extended to over 50s.

  • Discount of 80% on course fees for adults improving education.

  • Vocational tax relief to be phased out.

  • Expansion of individual learning accounts.

  • 20m to allow more teachers to have computers for home use.

  • Capital modernisation fund will launch a 1.7bn computers-for-all initiative.

  • Employees will be able to secure computers on loan from companies as a tax free benefit.

  • Working families tax credit to be increased to 200 a week.

  • New employee shares for all scheme.

  • Review of competition in airports and the water industry.

  • Building Societies and banks to be required to publish mortgage price information for first time.

  • 100m investment in university science laboratories and equipment.

  • 20m for start-up funding for venture capital funds.

  • New enterprise management incentives will encourage entrepreneurs.

  • Extending tax allowance for films made in Britain.

  • New starting rate of tax for small businesses at 10p in the pound.

  • Small companies tax set at 20p from April.

  • From April, the main rate of corporation tax will reduced from 31% to 30%.

    Inflation

  • The inflation forecast is for 2.5% for this year, 2000 and the year after.

  • The growth estimate for 1999 of 1% to 1.5% will grow to up to 2.75% in 2000 and between 2.75% and 3.25% in 2001.

  • The current Budget surplus for 1999 is forecast at 2bn.

  • Debt interest payments next year will be cut to 2.5bn.

    Your Views - Have your say on the Budget

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