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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 April, 2003, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Budget 2003: What do you think?
Chancellor Gordon Brown has downgraded his predictions for UK economic growth despite delivering a bullish verdict on the economy in the House of Commons.

Unveiling his seventh Budget, the chancellor said growth this year would be between 2% and 2.5%, down from his prediction for 2.5-to-3% growth.

He also declared an increase in government borrowing this year to 27bn from 20bn.

The chancellor announced that a pint of beer would rise by a penny from Monday, while a bottle of wine would cost four pence more. A packet of 20 cigarettes will rise by eight pence.

But he said duties would be frozen on spirits, cider and sparkling wine, while bingo tax will be abolished from 4 August.

How are you affected by the Budget this year? What would you like to have seen included? As war continues in Iraq, how should the chancellor be balancing the nation's books?

Thank you for your e-mails. This Have Your Say debate is now closed. A selection of your comments has been published below.


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

Thank you Gordon
Charles Russell, Scotland
Gordon Brown's predictable increase in cigarette duty allows me to make an even greater saving travelling to Spain each year for my supplies (1,800). I'd have to earn about another 2,500 to save this much - thank you Gordon.
Charles Russell, Scotland

Mr Brown has increasing borrowing on a colossal scale, putting our country in hock in the hope that maybe our children will earn enough to pay it all back eventually. Still, they'll have their 500 trust fund to make a start won't they?
Eccles, UK

Yet again people with no children suffer in the budget! Why do we always have not only the inconvenience of other peoples brats, but we seem to be paying for them as well. Do something constructive for the childless couples Mr Brown!
Ann-Louise, UK

Stop moaning
Suzanne, UK
To those who resent contributing towards the education and upkeep of 'other people's' children; in 20 years time those children will be the doctors, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, care workers and tax payers that will be supporting you in your old age! Moreover, as the cost of raising children is currently so high there will be a lot more of you than there will be of them! So take comfort in the fact that you will be much heavier burden on society than any child can possibly be and stop moaning.
Suzanne, UK

I am annoyed with the government constantly telling us that the number of unemployed people is falling. The figures do not reflect reality as a lot of unemployed are now being paid Incapacity Benefit instead of so-called Jobseekers allowance.
Chris, England

A 250 "baby bond" intended to pay university fees? If the market follows the patterns of the last three years that will be worth about 4 in today's money by the time the child reaches 18 and goes to university. I'm sure they will be most grateful for 4 off their university fees of more than 10,000.
Karl Peters, UK

The fact that Gordon Brown has ear-marked 3 billion pounds to prosecute the war in Iraq, and only 250 million pounds for the regeneration of the same nation speaks volumes about the commitment to the Iraqis.
Rick Scott, UK

I do not mind paying for health care, buses, water etc but I do mind paying into private shareholders pockets!
name here
I always find it funny when people say "Labour always raise taxes, my local council bills are up again..." A couple of points; - taxes were slashed on business profits and big earners in the 1980s and 1990s - but the vast majority of us saw rises. Plus the heaviest local council rises have occurred among non-Labour controlled councils! But don't think I am a Labour supporter - paying for PPP and PFI will mean that our taxes will have to rise again! I do not mind paying for health care, buses, water etc but I do mind paying into private shareholders pockets!
Murray, Scotland

This Chancellor has benefited from more revenue into the Exchequer than any in history, yet he continues to mortgage the country by borrowing to meet ill conceived political objectives. We will all pay heavily in the future unless we rid ourselves of this sham government.
Rodney Bint, England

I agree with raising more from tax to fund public services. But why not tax the truly wealthy; the multinational corporations? Fully half of all world trade now passes through tax havens so these corporations and their ultra-wealthy owners can avoid paying their fair share. Meanwhile the rest of us squabble over the crumbs left over. It's a con that costs the UK alone ?20 billion a year, and it's high time it was addressed.
Ben Drake, York, UK

I have seen nothing in this budget for me. I was disillusioned when my Council Tax bill dropped through the letterbox, but to see no increase in personal allowances yet again - well, what can I say? I have never before voted for the Conservatives, but in this next round of local elections and the next General Election I am seriously considering giving them my vote. The hard-working middle classes of this country are being penalised in favour of minority groups!
Clive Brown, Kent, UK

The "baby bribe" is yet another slap on the face for those of us who are childless (whether by choice or not). As if parents don't get enough hand-outs. People should be having children because they want to and, more importantly, can afford them, not because the government is handing out nest-egg bribes. This country is already over-populated so why encourage people to make the situation even worse?
Ola Moore, London, UK

I've been working for nearly 30 years and I've never known a Labour budget that didn't leave me worse off
Paul, England
Did anyone really expect anything other than more tax rises? Putting up taxes is what Labour does. I've been working for nearly 30 years and I've never known a Labour budget that didn't leave me worse off afterwards. What makes it worse is that we won't see any improvements for all the extra money that is taken off us. The government will just waste it on whatever half-baked scheme Blair and Brown think will enhance their personal prestige.
Paul, England

By using your calculator I'm ?237.02 worse off by this budget. This makes the grand total of ?1850 worse since labour came to power. I have voted Labour ever since I was old enough; NEVER AGAIN!
Andy, England

I am a student who is doing a year's work placement. This means that with the budget my NI will increase. I am already poor, and can not benefit from any other benefits. I think that Brown should do something for the students (who are the future of this country), instead of increasing tuition fees. The only way I can make any money form the government is if I become a single mother.
Dave Jones, England

Instead of setting up savings accounts for children the government should be spending this money on reducing NHS waiting lists for people who have been paying into the system for years but have it fail them when needed. Labour; you are failures.
Ian, England

As a single person who doesn't smoke, now cannot afford to drink, and drives to a car park to use a Park and Ride Bus service which costs ?400 more than for people who can park in Office Car Parks for a charge of ?25 a year; I found the budget disappointing. On top of the NI contributions, I have had a letter from my financial advisor that my Mortgage has a shortfall that needs to be addressed. More money to pay out in a job which pays below average, but asks for more money from students, very disappointed as well as out of pocket.
Colin Bartlett, Oxford UK

I would just like to say that the only people in life that can afford to have more than two children are those that we are supporting, who is claiming dole and screwing the system left right and centre. The labour government has always been for the dole queues! Myself and my husband have worked everyday since leaving school to have a mediocre life style and yet we keep paying out more and more and more.
Amanda Bewley, England

surely the government could do more for the old people who have served this country so well
Sally Brooks, UK
I am glad to see that the benefit cuts elderly people had to endure if they stay in hospital for more than six weeks are to be scrapped. I had no idea that this was in place at all and think it was a disgrace. They still have their bills to pay after all. But surely the government could do more for the old people who have served this country so well. Much higher pensions for example. I say scrap benefits for asylum seekers and pay the money to the old folk. They deserve it and have worked for it.
Sally Brooks, UK

As long as I see an improvement in public services through the rises in NI contributions and Council Tax, at a local level, then I am relatively happy with this Budget. My only concern is that this government seems to be encouraging people to have more children. For those who choose to have children, they should consider whether they can afford to before hand rather than expect free handouts form the State. Why not limit child benefits to two offspring? People might then consider twice before adding to this over-crowded planet.
Ricky, England

I am willing to pay taxes to pay for as the NHS, Police and so on, but giving MY money to babies just for being born, especially when there are such lamentably under funded public services defies description.
Robet Arnold, England

I strongly agree with other comments regarding help for single people. We actually pay more than the parents themselves because we get no tax credits back! I also wanted to disagree with the incentives for people abroad when there are skills shortages - why aren't we using this money to retrain our own workers?
Paul Warren, England

I'm sick and tired of paying for other people to have children. It's about time us single people got a tax reduction as we don't use all these public services. It's about time pensioners got a decent rise as they have worked all their lives to keep the scroungers of today.
Marie, Scotland

nothing is free and that it will take a long time to repair the damage caused by years of underinvestment
A Carver, UK
Single people who argue that they should not have to 'pay' for other people's children are missing the point. Those same children will one day grow up to become working adults who will contribute to state funds for their pensions (if they remain) and any NHS treatment they may require in old age. But I agree with people who point out that nothing is free and that it will take a long time to repair the damage caused by years of underinvestment.
A Carver, UK

Moan, Moan, Moan! It's the cold hard truth that we ALL pay for things from our taxes that we don't benefit from (eg. people without children, paying for schools etc). This is how the system works. Of course improvements can be made, but would you rather live under a Saddam type regime? Stop griping about your beer going up a penny, stop smoking (you'll live longer and be less of a drain on the NHS), and at ?250 each, I suggest making babies!
Craig, UK

I agree with Craig and am tired of people moaning all the time and refusing to look at the bigger picture. We all pay tax for a system to be fairer, unfortunately there will always people abusing the system but this is human nature and the price a democracy has to pay. Also let's be honest with ourselves and legalise drugs, it would reduce crime and generate healthy revenue to the Budget. Finally all those people earning in excess of 60,000 should be taxed at a much higher rate. Let's not follow the American system.
Claire, UK and France

I'm an ex-pat living in Japan, and Labour and its tax rises are a big reason I moved to a country where I pay just 15% income tax and 5% sales tax (like VAT). I get to keep most of my salary unlike when I lived in the UK, where the UK government took most of it to keep 25% of the working population in government jobs! When will the people of the UK realise that the only way to prosperity for all is an end to expecting the government to provide education, transport, health or just about any other service for that matter? Privatise the lot of them. How can you expect low taxes when one in four of you work for the government? In Japan it's about 3%. And guess what they have the best education system, best transport system and the best health care in the world.
Sean Green, Japan

There's plenty of tax money to be made from taxing the millions of pounds of drugs that are consumed by people every day in the UK, whether the government like it or not. In 1968 the government of the day took control of casino gambling and now reap the benefits of the tax revenue. It's time to do the same with drugs, or would the government still claim to be in control of the problem?
Stephen, Scotland, UK

Now we pay for the war and the financial incompetence of this Government
Peter, Buckingham, UK
Now we pay for the war and the financial incompetence of this Government. Taxation for this fiscal year is up dramatically through direct, indirect and stealth taxes. 6% by freezing tax allowances, 1% on NI, nearly 50% for the Police the majority of which is down to a substantial pay award not new and better equipment as we have been told, council tax up an average of 15%. All this while the Government urges fiscal constraint on large pay rises. Oh, and of course don't forget the large pay award they gave themselves last year! When are labour supporters going to realise that a labour government has no financial competence. If they were the board of directors of a plc they would all be sacked! I look forward to the local elections in May. It will be the beginning of payback time!
Peter, Buckingham, UK

How does getting claimants to sign weekly instead of fortnightly, help to tackle unemployment? Surely this just adds to the minefield of inefficiency and bureaucracy that already exists and ends up costing even more money. What a waste and so typical of this government.
Bridget Lumb, UK

Pouring money into public services without reform to working practices is nonsense. The vast majority of the money will go to finance pay rises in the public sector at a time of economic downturn - some perverse logic there - and to finance extremely attractive public sector guaranteed final salary pension schemes. For those of us who work in the private sector - no pay rise for the last three years, increased direct and indirect taxation, and total financial insecurity in our pension planning. If you want any discernable standard of living in your retirement - get a job in the public sector fast. Even better stand for Parliament!
Peter, UK

Roll on the next general election! A government who ignores the electorate, increases indirect taxation and then blatantly denies any rises, massive increases in council tax as a result of playing politics in the labour heartlands. I'm sick of politics in this country.
Lee, United Kingdom

When will the current government realise that pumping more and more money in to the NHS is not going to work. The system itself is a prime example of mismanagement where too much money is being spent on "pen-pushing", "Administrative Support" and "think-tanks" and not enough to the core workers of the NHS. By this I do not just mean the Doctors and Nurses (which is forever stated) but the behind the scenes staff such as clinical support, transport, and sanitation.
Simon, UK

I'm a college Lecturer working many hours for less than many unskilled workers. Council tax is up 13 per month, my national insurance is up, petrol is going up, and my little investment towards pension is now worth half its value of last year. I have a friend with cancer who, by the time his turn comes for treatment, will be too ill to receive it. This, after 7 years of a labour government? Bring back Maggie.
Glenn Sealey, England

Brown is shamelessly playing party politics with council tax
Michael, UK
There has no mention of the enormous recent rises in council tax (28% in my area). Nor has there been any mention of the fact that these increases have been required because Brown has switched central funding to the midlands and the north (reason: to shore up labour heartlands prior to council elections). Brown is shamelessly playing party politics with council tax.
Michael, UK

It could have been worse, I suppose. I don't smoke and only drink a little wine every week, so my only 'loss' will be in the NI contributions. Mind you, with no pay rise for the third year in a row due to the 'poor economy', any tax rise (and this IS really a tax rise) is not welcome.
Jenny, UK

Am I alone in thinking we are being duped? My single parent tax code has been reduced to that of a single person with effect from 5 April but my tax credits will not arrive until 5 May? Therefore I give more to Gordon in April but I don't get anything back until May!
Sally, UK

I note to date yet more help for single parents, and couples with children. What about the couples who pay CSA to these families and are left living on the bread line, what help do they get, and who bothers listening when they try to point out this fact? May I also point out it seems that people who have raised there children in generations past, now work to support other peoples children. As for some of these parents they have contributed very little or nothing at all to society, yet they live a more comfortable life than working people and pensioners.
Karen, England

What about children already born? Will they be able to have a trust fund or not? Will they be the 'forgotten generation' saddled with extra debt from university but with no help to pay it?
Richard, UK

the chancellor is being criticised for the success of the economy
Marc Roddis, England, (currently Sweden
I think the idea that Gordon Brown has increased taxes in recent years is largely the result of misunderstanding spread by the Conservative media. Whilst it is true tax receipts have risen, this is mostly due to the fact that more people are working and people are earning more. So the chancellor is being criticised for the success of the economy. He has hardly changed the percentage rates of taxation. When unemployment ran at three million in the 1980s people paid a higher percentage rate of tax but total tax receipts were lower; this situation did not help anybody. Under Labour most people's "take home pay" has increased and higher tax receipts means more money for public services.
Marc Roddis, England, (currently Sweden)

With my daughter being born in February I see that not only does she not get the benefits from the last budget she doesn't get the "trust" fund from the government in this one, so who after paying for all these taxes is going to pay for her to get on in life? Rubbish as usual, I shall continue to look for jobs abroad.
David, UK

It's not that people want things for free, it's just that they don't trust the Government to deliver decent services - e.g. health, education and transport. We are all paying a lot more tax than 7 years ago and public services have got worse. Perhaps it's time to look at alternative ways of providing public services.
AB, UK

Every which way I turn there is tax
Karl Garrett, Wiltshire, UK
What incentive is there for me to earn anything other than the absolute minimum? Every which way I turn there is tax, and as a father of two this fills me with dread.
Karl Garrett, Wiltshire, UK

I know he's having a baby and likes his whisky, but I didn't know that he played bingo. When is he going to do a budget for the rest of us?
C. Smith, UK

I just wish people would wise up to the fact that the UK is still amongst the lowest taxed and least regulated countries in Europe. Improvements in UK living standards over the last five years are staring us all in the face.
Andrew, Leicester, UK

A very good budget considering the slowdown in the economy
Mal, Scotland
On the face of it I think is a very good budget considering the slowdown in the economy. People will be more affected by the NI contributions hike from last year's budget kicking in now, than they will from increase in beer and fags this year.
Mal, Scotland

I manage a Citizens' Advice Bureau in a Merseyside hospital. We have fought through the various levels of the legal system on behalf of hospitalised pensioners whose pensions are "clawed back" when they are in hospital. The test case is just about to go to the High Court. Great news, Gordon, but don't you think it's a little unfair to present it as correcting an injustice when your own Government has been striving to defend that same injustice for so long?
Ann Williams, UK

Why does the chancellor not realise that his ridiculous increases in tobacco duty simply deny him revenue as more people shop overseas. I travel to Europe regularly, and I haven't bought a "UK Duty Paid" pack of fags for over a year. As the duty has not been cut, but increased AGAIN, the French and German governments can continue to have my tax!
Dan, UK

The tax increases in this year's budget are very modest
Simon, England
As far as I can see, the tax increases in this year's budget are very modest. For the middle classes, these increases are more than offset by the historically low interest rates and historically high levels of employment. Gordon Brown does not get the recognition that he deserves for being the best post-war Chancellor.
Simon, England

Is there anyone out there who really believes that the extra money raised from the pseudo-income tax called National Insurance will actually make any noticeable difference to the bottomless money pit of the NHS?
Martin Rickerby, England

I think that today's budget is acceptable. The Labour Party has been in government for nearly 6 years, but people have to realise that after 18 years of underfunding, it is going to take quite some time to put them right. Please stop criticising the public services when record amounts of money are going into them to try and improve them.
Bradley Thomas, UK

I have just been informed by my company that, on the back of this budget, redundancies are inevitable. Thank you Mr Brown and you may sleep well tonight in the knowledge that my vote has now been changed to Lib Dem.
JP, UK

More tax on cigarettes and alcohol. I bet the ferry companies and French hypermarkets are rubbing their hands with glee. Another trip to France later in the year for me, once my last lot of French ciggies starts running out.
John C, Bath, UK

Please stop complaining
Andrew Williams, UK
The people of this country need to understand we can't have everything for nothing. Please stop complaining - our quality of life is vastly superior to other countries in the world. Everything we have needs to be paid for by someone.
Andrew Williams, UK

So, is that it! Take, take, take and no give. Wow what a show, can't wait for next year!
Peter, UK, UK

3bn extra funds set aside for the war, 330m for domestic counter terrorism measures, humanitarian aid of 240m. And who's paying for all of this?? We are of course... Does anybody think that money would be better spent on our own hospitals, schools, homeless etc??
Bexley Durden, UK

The 'baby bond' - brilliant idea but what about us parents with children under 18 years old? I have two 12 year olds who will hopefully go to further education. Living in Cornwall, both my husband and I work, with low wages, just to pay the bills without trying to put aside money for the boys' future.
Maria Gameson, England

Nothing has been done to address the shortfall on pensions. All that has been done is to keep taking more money in tax.
A. Moseley, England

I'm frustrated that Brown has spent so much money on defence when he could have spent it lowering fuel duty. Some of us have no choice but to drive to work in the morning!
Ross, UK

I think that he is doing a tough job and doing it pretty well. People seem to want everything but not have to pay for it.
Matt, UK

I cannot keep dishing out my hard earned money
Julie Hoare, England
Increase in council tax, increase in National Insurance, increase in petrol in October, increase in duty on cigarettes and beer. I don't drink thank goodness but I haven't had a pay rise in two years. I cannot keep dishing out my hard earned money and see no benefit from it. I have a really hard time believing that the money raised from increased National Insurance will be used properly and sensibly to improve the NHS. Show us the benefits of handing over this extra money.
Julie Hoare, England

It seems again that we are having new tax raises, with the money spent on new novel things that are so complicated you need to be an accountant to understand them. I am left to wonder where on the previous extra money has gone that Gordon has raised as we have certainly NOT had any improvement in the public services that he and Tony seem to care so much about.
John Hogwood, Bucks

I find it interesting that a chancellor who has a pregnant wife suddenly decides to award 250 to new babies!! That's lost them my vote!!
Anonymous, UK

It is difficult to imagine the amount of debt I will be in
Juliet McFarlane, England
What about us students?? We have had no mention in the budget. Our average debt after uni is approx 14k with no grant from the government at all. We should have a grant for poorer students, and for those of us that already have huge debts, relief in some way when it comes to pay our debts back. It is difficult to imagine the amount of debt I will be in when I come to buying a house/car and have a family with a 14k debt already. Are there any plans to help us out?
Juliet McFarlane, England

What about PSCs (personal service companies) - used to employ nannies, yet avoid tax and NI? Have IR35 style rules come in to close the loophole? PSCs are legal, but still considered tax-avoidance.
Simon Gidney, Wimbledon, London, UK

The chancellor should look at changing inheritance tax
Luke Isted, London, England
It seems inheritance tax is turning into a 'south east tax', where the house prices are so much higher than the rest of the country. Not many estates fall into the inheritance tax trap in northern England, Scotland or Wales. The chancellor should look at changing inheritance tax so that it is fairer by region.
Luke Isted, London, England

In all the trumpeting of tax credits, there has been no mention of the restriction of working family tax credit to those with savings below 8,000. Savings above this limit mean that no tax credit is available. Effectively, I and my family are being penalised for being prudent.
Ian O'Regan, Calne, UK

Why did the chancellor raise national insurance for employers? Surely this is the worst possible tax on business as it is a tax on labour? Increases in corporation tax would be more honest and less damaging.
David Brownbill, Bath, England

Why is this government so keen to abolish or reduce taxes on gambling (horse racing, betting levy and now bingo) yet increases taxes on our basic earnings?
Bob, Gloucester, UK

Single people are taxed to pay for other people's children
Rachel Nuneaton, England
I would like to see tax breaks for single people. You are taxed to pay for other people's children. Children are a choice, I would like to receive extra income back from the government to pay my bills too.
Rachel Nuneaton, England

I wish he and others would stop talking about 'defence spending'. It's attack spending.
Justin, UK

Another rise in fuel prices, what a surprise!
Will, Banbury, UK

Again, a left wing chancellor increasing taxes for everybody's benefit. If the NHS needs loads of money, it shows there are problems in the system and the solution is not keep pouring more money in! His ideologies are from a relic age!
B Patel, England

The NHS obviously doesn't work, so why are we trying to save it? It seems to me that it's just another big, self-interest, government scheme which encourages people to eat the wrong foods, drink too much and smoke. We all know that the NHS will always be there to save us, don't we? I'd rather pay for health and get a far better service. Watch out all self serving NHS managers!
Stephen, Scotland, UK

I simply trust that B Patel from England and Stephen from Scotland rely on private medical services if they are involved in an accident or emergency or if a private operation goes wrong.
Richard, UK

If you earn 20,000 per annum and are married with two children, this Budget just adds to the financial misery of the 22% council tax rise we have suffered. Its take, take, take from the ordinary PAYE man and his family with this government.
John Sweetman, Hastings, East Sussex

HOORAY! No more bingo tax! Party on dudes!
Charles Nelson, London, UK

Surely instead of freezing stamp duty, he should reduce it? This is an old tax system that should be seriously looked at as average house prices are now a lot higher. This is meant to be a tax for the rich, not for the average.
Andy, London, UK

The only reason spirits aren't going up is because they are the staple diet of MPs.
Alex, London

Wealth creators in the private sector suffer from government disinterest in pension provision
Duncan Craig, Nottingham
Much of the tax rises are going on public sector pensions whilst the rest of us (wealth creators) in the private sector suffer from government inaction and disinterest in our pension provision. It's the usual 'I'm alright Jack' scenario.
Duncan Craig, Nottingham

Is John Prescott asleep?
Alex, London

He says the self-employed are important to him, yet the inland revenue are killing us with IR35 and the like.
Tony, UK

25 minutes in and not a single piece of information directly relevant to the man in the street.
Dave Townsend, Weston-super-Mare, UK

I will believe all of this when I see all of this. I'm like most people, who don't mind paying extra taxes and national insurance IF we see a change for the better!
C Smith, Staffordshire, UK

It's the lorries that cause the congestion, pollution and damage to the roads... they should pay some more tax too!
Mark, Southampton

We still have to pay for the war which most of us didn't agree to
Steve, UK
Didn't these guys say a little time ago "we wont raise taxes". And yet they done it 53 times already. I don't mind paying more if I see an improvement in the services. Instead I see my money wasted on consultants, over paid bureaucrats. Services are cut and hospitals closed! We will also still have to pay for the war which most of us didn't agree to. It's a shame the Tories won't do any better.
Steve (Betrayed Labour Voter), UK

I think that half of his ideas are good while others are not and I think that there should be more of a choice for the people. Also they should be able to understand all of the details and decisions he makes.
Caroline, England

Why should the public foot the bill for this non-war with tax/IN increases when only 35% of the public support it? Thanks Brown.
Allan Wenham, England

What with NO tax allowance increase and the standard on beer, wine, fags, car tax etc, this is again another payout for the consumer. No tax allowance rise is basically an income tax increase.
Steve Heath, UK

Let hard working people keep more of their money
Ed Barham, England
Lower taxes on business and lower taxes on the individual. Let hard working people keep more of their money rather than dishing it out to the spongers and lazy people.
Ed Barham, England

I pay NI on my salary for the NHS, I pay income tax and NI on my private health care which means I barely use the NHS that I pay for twice (NI on my income and NI on my private health care benefit). Then what happens when I go to get my asthma medication each month that I need to stop me dying, yep that's right, I have to pay for it. Cheers Gordon.
Ben, UK

He just wants to rip us off for his mistakes. Soon any young person will have no money and will be living on the streets!
Rebecca Hughes, UK

My council tax raised GDP250, my NI raised by GBP250, my pension reduced by more than half in two years. Interest on my savings is not worth talking about, will someone please tell me what incentive I have to continue living in this country?!
Pamela Waller, UK

Yes, we must set aside lots of money for defence - after all, we are of course at imminent risk of invasion by... who?
Keith Griffiths, Brentwood, UK

Why are single (divorced) working class people like me - there are thousands of us - always penalised with never any help to keep our heads above water?
Penny Sheppard, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

The chancellor should help first time buyers
Simon, UK
I think that the chancellor should have taken the opportunity to help first time buyers to get on the property ladder (and not only public sector workers) by taxing those who own more than one house. It was recently reported that a couple had bought to let 50 houses in the home counties. But I fear that the government does not wish to act as the politicians are those with their country mansion and a couple of city flats!
Simon, UK

Increases in spending on NHS and schools is going to be swallowed for the large part by increases in national insurance and pension contributions. Very little is actually going to reach hospitals and schools for real increases in quality of services.
J Rex, Birmingham UK

Thanks to increased tax on business, I will soon lose my job when it is relocated to India, where business and wages are cheaper! Thank you Mr Brown.
Peter, UK

The chancellor states there will be 80,000 more nurses within five years. Does this allow for the exodus of disillusioned and disenfranchised nurses from the NHS over the same period of time?
Pat Madden, Paisley, Scotland

We do not necessarily need more doctors and nurses. We need the ones we have to work in the NHS full time, and less time to be wasted on red tape and government-led bureaucracy (league tables, goals, measurements etc).
Andy Young, Harpenden, Herts

If it is true that my national insurance rate will go up then I will have to cancel any direct debit payments I make to Christian Aid and the Red Cross to compensate. So I hope that my national insurance is going towards aid in Iraq and not just used for fighting.
Louise, London, UK




VOTE RESULTS
Are you satisfied with Budget 2003?
Yes
 29.17% 
No
 70.83% 
9101 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion



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