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EDITIONS
real lives Wednesday, 10 March, 1999, 07:52 GMT
The executive: A Budget to do no harm
Name Sam and Dorothy Jones
Married Yes
Children Two, both grown up
Gross earnings (employment) 10,000pcm (Sam 7,500 and Dorothy 2,500)
Gross savings income 800pcm
Mortgage payments n/a
Pension payments n/a
Cars Two (one company, one private)
Car insurance 140pa
Household insurance 450pa
Beer 4 pints/week
Wine 4 bottles/week
Spirits 0 bottles/week
Tobacco 0 packets of 20/week
Petrol 30 litres/week

Sam Jones is Regional Corporate Director for the Royal Bank of Scotland in Lancashire. The views expressed to BBC News Online are his alone, not those of his company. His wife Dorothy is a university lecturer.

Mr Jones is glad the Budget has not done any serious harm from his perspective.

Prior to the Budget, Mr Jones had been concerned that Chancellor Gordon Brown would get too involved with the way businesses are run.

However, Mr Jones has cautiously welcomed the introduction of measures to benefit companies' research and development.

He said: "I think incentives for research and development are interesting and I would like to see the detail before getting excited.

"Broadly though, research and development relief and the reduction in National Insurance contributions is good."

Management incentives

He was also pleased about the government's dedication to boosting e-commerce, which Mr Jones believes is a "sensible commitment of public money".

Mr Jones and his family will be approximately up to 2 a week better off after the Budget.

He said: "Looking at the measures to do with the family from my own perspective, I'm glad to see the threshold for capital gains tax and inheritance tax going up."

One thing which did spark interest in Mr Jones was the chancellor's announcement of a tax incentive for managers moving on to riskier positions.

Mr Jones said: "Personally, I am very interested in the measures to incentivise managers to move on from secure jobs to smaller businesses and riskier positions through tax allowance.

"I think there will be considerable interest in that from middle managers in the 50-plus age group who fancy doing something different."

'Tax rate gimmick'

Mr Jones also believes the chancellor's scheme to allow people tax relief for investing in their companies will also benefit enterprise and competition.

He said: "I think it will make many people go the extra mile for their business.

"The broad thrust of the improvement is that it will bind employees more to the business."

However, on the downside, Mr Jones believes there were aspects of the chancellor's Budget that were merely window-dressing.

"The 10p income tax rate would appear to be a gimmick," he said.

"If you really want to do something for the lower paid, do it through allowances."

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