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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 March, 2004, 13:40 GMT
Budget 2004: What do you want?
Chancellor Gordon Brown is delivering his Budget speech in the House of Commons.

The UK's economy has been growing strongly but there are increasing worries over the government's budget deficit.

The chancellor could take the opportunity to reveal some clues ahead of this summer's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

He is also expected to announce fresh reforms to the housing market in a bid to resolve a severe shortage, especially in the South East of the country.

What would you like to see included in the Budget this year? How should the chancellor balance the nation's books?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Smokers hit again! I will now be cancelling my Labour Party Membership and stopping the extra I give to them each month to fund the additional 8p for each packet of cigarettes I buy.
Sue Gallagher, Skelmersdale, UK

It was obvious 5 years ago that there was a severe shortage of housing in certain parts of the UK. Although the Barker review has only just been published this week, any idiot could have foreseen this situation. I think the government is seriously irresponsible in not getting a handle on this problem before people started suffering. Now there will be more consultation, more planning arguments and still people will be homeless or paying above the odds.
Julie, Norwich, UK

Attacking the civil service always happens when they have run out of ideas!
Anon
I'm a civil servant in the CSA. We've had to cope with the nightmare of a new computer system that has been a disaster from the start, our pay is so bad that most of us are on tax credits, staff morale is at an all time low, staff turnover at an all time high and now the government wants to make thousands of us redundant. Attacking the civil service always happens when they have run out of ideas!
Anon (they'll sack me!),

Unless and until the Chancellor gets a grip on the fact that the housing market has become a means of making an investment rather than a way of allocating places to live, inequality in Britain will go on increasing - "welcoming" the Barker Report is simply not enough. He should take the opportunity to extend the right to buy to ALL tenants not just council tenants.
Tim Waters, Oxford, UK

The efficiency gains in this budget should be welcomed. Why do people harp about wanting tax cuts when we are seeing such major investment in delivering world class public services? If the Tories delivered lower taxes, it would be at the expense of the NHS - and expensive private health insurance would cost us all much more in the long run! I'm just glad to see our public services finally getting better - after the decades of under investment under the Tories.
ffinlo Costain, Chatteris, UK

Well done Brown if he cuts Civil Service numbers. My local Tory Council in Sevenoaks cuts services but allows HQ and staff costs to rip ahead. They try to blame Government but the Tories could learn a thing or two from Gordon Brown on cutting waste
John Gilbert, Sevenoaks Kent

Cigarettes should've risen by more than inflation
Jane, Galashiels, UK
Cigarettes should've risen by more than inflation to demonstrate more of a commitment to health measures. Good move transferring 1000's of Civil Servants out of London but stopping the Civil Service non-contributory pensions would be a bolder and more fiscally prudent move.
Jane, Galashiels, UK

The government claims to support initiative, enterprise and a flexible economy. Now we see Labour reverting to their true colours, a 19% tax that completely blows this facade away. No small business owner should ever be in doubt that Labour hates initiative and free enterprise.
Ross, Horsham

I am glad to see that Brown has recognised what an inefficient civil service we have. In my experience, dealing with the Department of Work and Pensions is like Chinese Whispers, you have to pass the message through about 4 people before you get to the one person who can help you. I think its good that the service is getting a shake up.
unemployed, London

A very sensible budget. To those who whinge about getting on the property ladder I ask why should taxpayers subsidise your house purchase ?
David Pauls,

Let's face it, "his" stability is because of the Bank of England
Justine Greening, London
If Gordon Brown ran a company where he'd recruited thousands of employees and then made about the same number redundant a few years later which is essentially what he's just announced, then those employees wouldn't be the only people losing their job. He'd have been fired too for total mis-management. Let's face it, "his" stability is because of the Bank of England. I'm fed up of Labour taking credit for stuff they haven't done and taking no responsibility for things they have.
Justine Greening, London

I'm a single man that drinks and smokes, lives alone and owns his own home. Once again money is being taken from my pocket without getting anything in return. I'm getting a bit sick of this country.
Giles Clinker, London, UK

The budget calculator says I will be 3 a week worse off. This does not make much difference to me. Since I am the middle income group I don't object to this if it means low earners will be better off.
Chris Q, Bradford England

I thought cutting civil service jobs was a Tory policy not a Labour one?! Although I'm all for cutting Civil Service waste, cutting 30,000 jobs over 4 years will inevitably effect the delivery of services to the most financially vulnerable in the UK.
Steve, Oxford

Just what is needed at the moment to keep things ticking over
Paul M, Basildon, UK
Boring, low key budget. Just what is needed at the moment to keep things ticking over. GB has done a very good job over the past 7 years, not perfect but a huge improvement on Kenneth Clark and Normal Lamont. The fact that a deficit equal to 3.4% of GDP is now considered an issue is evidence of this. Eight years ago a deficit of 3.5% was considered a triumph compared to the devastation of the previous five years. How quickly some people forget.
Paul M, Basildon UK

As an employee of HM Treasury, packing in my job and scrounging off the state is becoming, very fast, a real option. Well done Gordon.
anon, UK

Still not enough for families with children. Unless you're on the poverty line, there is nothing for you. It would be nice to have seen a fairer distribution of child tax credit and help with childcare costs.
Lynne, Airdrie

How can the year on year increase on cigarettes be justified on health reasons, yet alcohol which causes health problems and also huge amounts of social problems escape pretty much untouched year after year? Its just another stupid sign of the hypocrisy shown by this government.
Stuart, Ipswich UK

Once again, he's kept his promise not to raise income tax... just taking more tax from the income I earn !!
John, Derbyshire

Give those of us who want to save for retirement a bit of an incentive!
Larry Lloyd, Leicester, England
As the government are so keen on individuals saving for their retirement, so they are less of a burden on the state, why is the limit for the cash ISA reducing to 1000 in 2006? It would make more sense to increase the limit to 5000 to encourage new savers. A lot of people have a mistrust of stocks & shares and would therefore not opt for a Maxi ISA. Come on Gordon, give those of us who want to save for retirement, and encourage others, a bit of an incentive!!
Larry Lloyd, Leicester, England

Surprise surprise, stamp duty is frozen. There isn't such a thing as a house under 60k now, and the government knows this only too well and is fully and undeniably prepared to cash in on it. Swines... Labour have hammered the motorist, alienated the home-owner and crippled small businesses during their reign that resembles a dictatorship with very poor political foundations. They shall NOT be getting my vote next time. Monster raving loony party anyone?
Chris, Normanton, West Yorkshire

If I heard correctly I understand that the Chancellor has raised the duty on motor fuel. There has been no allowances made on this account for disabled drivers like myself who without their car would be unable to get around. I have had to cut my mileage over the last three years, due to the high cost of, in my case, diesel. Perhaps a good thing one might think, but this cuts into several of my hobbies as I'm now unable continue with them to any great extent. This also curbs my personal enjoyment and standard of life. While also I find that more and more local council car parks are beginning to charge disabled people for parking. This also happens at our local hospital, where I have at this time regular treatment for health problems. I know full well that my wait for my treatment in the hospital is going to cost me at least 3 per visit.
Terry Blackmore, Shoebury

A very sensible and cautious budget at a time when the economy seems to be doing very well
Joe G, Liverpool
I think it is a very sensible and cautious budget at a time when the economy seems to be doing very well. The really low unemployment figures are great news for many people who have now found work and now pay tax and contribute to needs of the country. The continued investment in education, law and defence will benefit us all - so overall a well balanced budget.
Joe G, Liverpool

Good for Mr Brown in merging Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue. Now will he simply scrap National Insurance, raise the money though Income Tax and save a fortune in the administration of National Insurance - so called a fund into which we pay, but in reality a tax to pay for benefits which the government can remove any time it chooses to legislate to do so.
Bryan, London

This is a good and sensible budget. As a school Governor I'm extremely pleased to learn of the plans for direct payments to Headteachers of around 55,000 for Primary Schools and 180,000 for Secondary Schools. I know that my Father who turns 70 this year will really welcome the extra help to older pensioners of 100 towards council tax bills.
Kelly Liza, Barnet, Herts

Nothing to help the entrepreneurial spirit that is so vital to a healthy, wealthy economy. Nothing to help small business, nothing to encourage self reliance. Nothing to engender being a wise self-sufficient citizen in this parasitic, uncultured, mind-numbingly bored society of ours.
Graham, Reading, UK

It's another budget full of hidden extras, and no help for average people,
Adam, Birmingham
It's another budget full of hidden extras, and no help for average people, the very people they promised to make better lives for!! How stupid does Labour think the British public are? We are now seeing the true colours: tax to the hilt and absolutely no results or improvements to show for it. The next election will show them the anger felt in the country.
Adam, Birmingham

Stamp Duty should have been put UP! House prices should have been driven down. Once again, a budget that panders to middle England, completely forgetting the rest of us that are suffering because of the greed and short memories of the middle classes. When Brown stops reading the Daily Mail, this country will be great again!
Vish, UK

This is the chancellors eighth budget and once more the experts tell us that you can't really trust his forecasts. Could you ask one of these experts how many times he has been substantially wrong in the past?
Graham Rumsey, Northampton England

You didn't really think he'd hit us for the looming huge tax shortfall with an election around the corner did you? Wait until next year. Whoever's in power is going to have to seriously raise taxes or cut services to try and balance the books. Don't be fooled by this artificial budget!
Mac, Tonbridge, UK

What a resentful bunch of whiners!
Tim Keenan, Brighton, England
What a resentful bunch of whiners! You couldn't get a more moderate, verging on dull, budget yet almost all the comments you have published are of the "Me me me its not fair type". What this country actually needs is not an election but a more realistic electorate.
Tim Keenan, Brighton, England

About as inspiring as cold soup. Does nothing for me or anyone that saves for a reasonable retirement. In fact, cold soup is all I will be able to afford under this chancellor.
Grenville A Clifford, Lymington England

I am disgusted with Gordon Browns budget, I am sick to death with having to pay higher taxes under labour. They want us to use public transport which is unsafe and highly expensive, yet they still increase car tax and petrol duty. If it wasn't for us drivers they would have a black hole. I disagree with the amount pensioners get, they are a drain on this nation, everyone else has to just get by. I am a student and sick to death of having to pay for my education, whereas Tony and his cronies got theirs for free, down with Blair and to hell with Labour, the Tories get my vote.
James D, Henley-on-Thames

Despite the recent government anti-smoking and anti binge-drinking campaigns, they've just wimped out
Reg Pither, London, England
More opportunities wasted! Despite the recent government anti-smoking and anti binge-drinking campaigns, they've just wimped out when they should have put at least 50p on cigarettes and raised the price of all alcohol by far more than they have. How can the government pretend to be serious about these issues and then shy away from the easiest and most obvious steps to address the problems?
Reg Pither, London, England

Again the Chancellor has done nothing to help first time buyers. All the hype that this budget would tackle housing was all false. Typical budget, Lots of taking and no giving. I don't really mind but public services are no better. Pouring money down bottomless pits like the NHS and Education will not resolve these issues. We need to look at the heart of these problems.
John, Kilburn, UK

I can't believe that inheritance tax has been raised by such a small amount. When you take account of the average house prices these days, this iniquitous tax hits far too many whom it was never initially intended for. So much for trying to put something by for the kids.
Jan, Emsworth, UK

I agreed with Pensioners getting 100 to help Council Tax but ALL pensioners should get this extra money not just those over 70. This is a blatant case of vote catching in those communities where the elderly are a considerable percentage i.e. the countryside??
Paul Hickling, Birmingham UK

This is a serious, serious blow for small business owners
Ed, London, UK
One thing that could easily go un-noticed from this budget is that dividends from small businesses within the first 10,000 of their profits will now be subject to 19% corporation tax - whereas, previously, all profits under 10,000 were tax free, regardless of whether they were released as dividends or not. This is a serious, serious blow for small business owners who offset the enormous financial and emotional hardship of running a business by enjoying more favourable tax status through paying themselves partly in dividends. This status is now being taken away. It wasn't a "loophole", Gordon, it was some small break given to us for being the people who take huge personal risks every day in the interests of the British economy. The damage of this measure cannot be underestimated.
Ed, London, UK

Whinge, whinge, whinge. Meanwhile, 8 years of economic growth continues, we enjoy low interest rates, low unemployment and still they whine!
Rob, Northfleet

Imagine the uproar if income tax was calculated at the higher rate on all income, rather than on the margin over the particular threshold. Yet this is the case with stamp duty, with exorbitant rates applicable to everyday house prices, particularly in the South, but soon catching up in the North. The principle of using the highest applicable rate for the entire price is simply unreasonable and has a major impact on the affordability of homes for everybody. This should have been adjusted.
Paul B, Oxford, UK

Cutting the Civil Service down and moving it to the regions? Always popular, always a good way to appear to make savings, always an easy target. BUT, they never actually explain how it's to be done do they? Or how much money will be spent in the name of these "savings". When will we stop blaming the people doing the work (for a pittance in most cases) and actually improve the system they have to administer?
Howard, St Annes, Lancs

Another budget that avoids growing concerns within the housing market
Stewart Wright, London
Well done Mr Brown. Another budget that avoids growing concerns within the housing market. As a potential first time buyer I am finding it impossible to gain access onto the housing ladder. Why is he allowing the buy-to-let market replace the first time buyer market? A tax should be imposed on the former to release properties for the first time buyer. I am 26 and earn a very good salary which is by far above the average so I can't wait to see what the government proposals will be in a few years when students have much higher debts. Maybe Mr Brown could impose oxygen tax on those ex-graduates looking to survive.
Stewart Wright, London

Not much in the budget for me, which makes a change. As a single, higher rate tax payer I'm usually fair game for Gordon Brown's "The more you pay the less you get" brand of politics, so for now I should be relieved. But the reality is that this just means people like me will be hit even harder next time around
Ian, London, UK

GB did not make as much as he could with regard to tax on fuel. Why not charge more at the pump for non-lorry commercial vehicles. Big cars use more fuel which means a bigger take in duty Or a higher rate of annual car tax on SUV, People carriers et al - but then he probably has one or more of them himself - I know his Boss does.
Alan Patterson, West London UK

Stamp duty should vary from region - we in the South East are penalised as house prices are so high
Karen, Biggin Hill

Save our ailing film industry - give film-makers a chance to compete with the US.
J. Wilkes, London, UK

Lower income earners pay far too much tax already
Guy, Cambridge
I'm just about to be made redundant and will probably have to take a much lower paid job. A move to increase indirect taxes - e.g. VAT - would not be welcomed in my household. Lower income earners pay far too much tax already. Up the top rate of income tax to 50% for those earning over 60k and do away with the upper limit for NI contributions.
Guy, Cambridge

Rather than increase taxes on the motorist wouldn't it be more desirable for the government to provide tax incentives for companies to promote tele-working. If this encouraged home working for even part of the week there could be a dramatic reduction in rush hour travel and commuter impact on the environment.
Steve, Billingshurst, West Sussex

Reduce taxes for the manufacturing industry to give it a kick-start. Also increase taxes on companies who use overseas call centres!
Si, Leeds

Start taxing the aviation industry
Diane Francis, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire
Abolish road tax - higher tax on fuel. BUT also start taxing the aviation industry - they are one of the biggest polluters of our planet but pay nothing towards the damage they do. Just think what the revenue from that industry would buy - houses, schools, hospitals.
Diane Francis, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire

As the economist Adam Smith once said - the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. Personally I'll settle for the latter over the former.
Paul, Wickford, UK

A large tax on second homes used for rental income would cut the number of 'buy to let mortgages', reduce house prices and benefit first time buyers. Stamp duty should be at a flat rate across all price bands.
Les, Southampton

A fair budget that's all I ask of Mr Brown. One that considers the pay I receive as a local government worker and the cost/expense of living in modern Britain.
Lee

Surely the real issue with housing is not simply that prices are too high. Until measures are taken to prevent the well-off from buying large portfolios of investment properties, I for one will be forced to continue renting.
Andy King, Stevenage, UK

Please don't tax those who purchase houses to let....we're trying to invest for our pensions, which at the moment will be virtually non-existent thanks to the way things have gone recently...
Elizabeth K, Bristol

Please don't cut defence, the world is becoming more dangerous again. Britain must retain a strong defensive and offensive force.
Mark, Bournemouth

Tax private education to help fund state schools
Dene Herbert, Derby, Derbyshire
Scrap the upper limit on N.I. contributions. Introduce "right to buy" legislation for tenants of buy-to-rent houses (with generous discounts). Tax private education to help fund state schools.
Dene Herbert, Derby, Derbyshire

MPs' salaries cut and the savings passed onto the public sector.
Clive, Dartford, UK

Abolish child benefit, it is taken into account in the calculations of means tested benefits so creates no extra income for those in need. It is unfair that even the most wealthy can (and do) claim money for having children.
Lynne, Farnborough UK

Abolish credit cards in the UK, write off all credit card debt and banish all credit card companies back to America where they belong!
Jock, London, UK

Anything that would help a graduate in stupid amounts of debt (due to fees, not alcohol) be able to afford a grotty 100k 1 bed flat in the area I work in rather than having to commute 48 miles each way every day.
Marcus, Oxford

I'd like to see something done about the unfair difference between a family where one parent works and brings home the average for a family, and the ones where two parents work and bring home the average. In one case, a great big chunk goes on higher rate taxation - which makes one family much poorer than the other!
Simon Richardson, London, UK

Taxes should be low, simple and unavoidable
Tony Baverstock, Chelmsford, Essex
I would propose a special stupidity tax on any one who suggests arbitrary changes in the tax system which make no economic sense. An increased tax on booze and fags results in more illegal imports, not an increase in revenue. Increasing income tax on those earning above 100k, and most will rearrange their affairs to pay less. It is an economic fact that high rates of tax do not necessarily increase the tax take. I say apply Lawson's rule, taxes should be low, simple and unavoidable. Even better, the Government should only do things for us where it is clear it can do better than we can.
Tony Baverstock, Chelmsford, Essex

Reduce red tape and unreasonable taxes, it makes running a small business here in the UK difficult and only serves to help the structural unemployment. Look at Germany to see how much red tape and taxes they have, then look at their massive structural unemployment levels. Red tape slows a business down, the business takes longer to expand, longer before another person can be employed, longer before they can complain about how much tax they have to pay!
A small business owner, Hertfordshire

I would like to see a massive tax increase on the manufacture and use of the private car such that its use becomes too expensive. Then we can have real towns, real communities and much less tarmac. Big cars should be outlawed immediately. I don't care if people don't like it; they'll have withdrawal symptoms but they'll get over it.
James Gibson, UK

How about something for never-been-married, never-claimed-state-benefit, hard-working single people, for a change?
Gwen, Anglesey, Wales

Fairness in the tax system i.e. tax on income and not indirect taxation that benefits the well off.
Colin, Ringwood, Hants

I agree with John below: it seems nearly everyone is selecting a sector of the community who should be taxed more, in order for themselves to pay tax less, and nobody here seems to like anyone else actually being successful. Here's a fact: the UK pays some of the lowest taxes whilst still receiving all public services, health, etc at its fingertips. I've just moved to Australia where the average earner submits a much larger portion of their income to tax than the UK - and basic health needs are not covered - but in return things get done well and the place has a fantastic lifestyle. If you want it better: everyone must pay for it.
PG, Australia/ ex-UK

A 50% tax on directors (Fat Cat) Golden Parachute payments. One that takes into account share deals etc.
David R, Plymouth UK

The tax on investment properties should be raised
Simon Chenery, Poole, UK
The tax on investment properties should be raised as should the threshold for stamp duty. The properties bought for investment purposes are the usually the type that first time buyers, like myself, would normally go after but are currently unable to do so. I earn 35k and am struggling to buy somewhere in Poole. Rather than build more cheap, cramped and poor quality homes, make them less attractive to greedy speculators.
Simon Chenery, Poole, UK

I would like to see reduction in tobacco duties this will be a good way to stop 'bootlegging' which costs this country billions. And stamp duty lowered. 250,000 is not enough to buy a 3 bed semi in the south.
C M, South London

More emphasis needs to be placed on real jobs for graduates instead of the "call centre culture" and the old "not enough industry experience" excuses seen today.
Kenny, Fife, Scotland

Simplicity! Please can we have a tax system normal people understand? Maybe something that completely fits on the back of a small envelope. The money saved in lost bureaucrats and expensive advisors could then be used for something useful.
Simon, Carlisle, Cumbria

A reduction in fuel duty
Nigel, Warrington
I would prefer a reduction in fuel duty, even if it means adding it to the car tax, as the amount I spend at the pumps can be frightening.
Nigel, Warrington

I'd like to see heavy taxes levied on buy-to-rent house owners. They are destroying the housing market.
Mark, Wales

Subsidise healthy foods by taxing unhealthy foods. This would encourage those who cannot afford a healthy lifestyle and reduce NHS costs.
Gordon, London, UK

What do I want? I want people in this forum to stop whining and moaning and generally expressing their incredibly selfish views! It seems that most contributors want this (or any other) chancellor to reduce their taxes, tax everyone else more, and improve public services at the same time - presumably whilst also producing a succession of large white rabbits from his top hat!
John, England

A national minimum wage introduced for the thousands of carers in the UK
Fiona, Dunfermline, Fife
I would like to see a national minimum wage introduced for the thousands of carers in the UK. Being paid an allowance of 43.15 for a 35 hour week is morally wrong and gives no recognition or status to our contribution to the economy. Most carers are doing far more than 35 hours per week, no holidays, no sick leave, no pension.
Fiona, Dunfermline, Fife

Get rid of child benefit and the means tested child and working tax credit. Instead, give every parent an increased tax code. This has the same effect, just doesn't need 30,000 bureaucrats to administer it!
John Moss, London, UK

I'd like to see the chancellor add a tax on to the interest paid on credit cards, and reduce the tax paid on the interest received on savings, either across the board or by increasing the limits on tax-free accounts. Money is just too cheap to borrow, hence we have massive levels of debt, and the returns on savings are not worth speaking of, once Gordon's taken his cut. Make the move revenue-neutral (i.e. the government doesn't gain or lose from the change) and put money back into the pockets of those of a more prudent nature!
Rob, Rotherham, UK

I'd just like to see something back for my taxes. At the moment I pay for state education yet have to pay privately if I want my child to get a meaningful education. I pay tax for the NHS but then have to pay for a dental check-up, for prescriptions and for an eye test. I pay tax for police but whenever I need to report an issue they aren't interested (yet strangely seem to have the manpower to harass the middle classes who step briefly out of line, even if by mistake). Stop wasting and stop the spitefulness - the fact someone earns more means they cost the state less, so shouldn't be regarded as a ready source of tax.
John B, UK

A reduction of Stamp Duty for first time buyers and a significant increase of the Stamp Duty paid by buy-to-let investors and cash buyers in order to control house prices.
Azad, Ilford, Essex

Allow couples to combine some of the tax allowance so that the household income is taxed and not the individual
Andrew Boaden, Desborough, England
I am currently just inside the 40% tax bracket and my wife has chosen to stay at home and bring up our new born son. Under the current tax laws I am unable to utilise any of her tax allowance, which makes us feel penalised for making this decision. I would like to see the government address this problem and allow couples to combine some of the tax allowance so that the household income is taxed and not the individual.
Andrew Boaden, Desborough, England

As a married woman with 4 children I think it was time the government started helping families. Single parents get lots of help and what about normal, hard working families, who may not be on the bread line but still struggle to make ends meet because of the expenses of running a large family.
Lisa Minall, Haddenham, Cambs

Lisa Minall, Haddenham, Cambs: The "expense of running a large family" was one you should have taken into account of before you created your "large family". Every time someone writes that the government should pay for something, what you're saying is that other taxpayers should pay, and that includes me! Why should I pay for your children?
Amanda Newly, Manchester, UK

I would like to see a flat rate tax at something like 25%. Having a higher upper band of tax leads to the top scale of salaries becoming larger to compensate. I don't see why people on higher salaries should pay more, they probably cost the state far less than people with lower wages and tend to reinvest their money creating more jobs and boosting the economy. We should not copy Europe, most European economies suck.
Martin, Leicester

I just want a budget which means i have something to look forward to. I seem to be paying out a lot of tax without seeming to benefit. I have no pension to look forward to, I can't get treatment from the NHS and I have loads of debt from university... so I go to the pub to drown my sorrows and find that a pint of beer costs me almost 3!
Kelly, Atherstone, UK

Anybody who has two of anything should be taxed more
Chris Merrill, Southampton
Anybody who has two of anything should be taxed more. If you own two houses then you get taxed more, two cars taxed more again. Hopefully this will make it easier for first time buyers and also reduce the congestion on our roads.
Chris Merrill, Southampton

Tax all London residents at 57% (of their gross annual remuneration - all benefits etc included) for having the audacity to live in the world's most expensive capital. Obviously, this includes everyone (including government ministers) who have temporary London residences and those with Buy-To-Let "home-based" businesses who get let off on Capital Gains Tax provided they sell-up within 3 years of setting their business up. All the extra tax could be used to sort out the NHS! ...And boy, does it need sorting out!
Jock, London, UK

Abolish tax on our goodwill! A policy which guarantees that immigrants can never claim more in state benefit than they have already paid in direct tax. Easy to monitor through NI numbers and very simple computer programming. This should deter benefit tourists and have no detrimental effect on the well-intentioned who are here to work and cultivate a better life.
Stuart, Surrey, England

20% tax across the board. It is morally wrong that someone who earns more has to pay more when they consume the same resources as the lower paid. It deters achievement, it puts one off perseverance and success. As I commute into Paddington each day on the train, I wonder what's the point of studying and striving when nearly half one's pay is snatched away from me, yet I pass numerous council flats just given to people who have not earned them, they're allowed to keep them for life, and they always manage to be able to afford satellite TV, judging by the dishes hanging off their walls. Mr Brown - reward the achievers for a change, not the parasites.
Natalie, Reading, UK

First time buyers should have some help
Denise Strauss, Southend on Sea
First time buyers should have some help - it's not fair what is happening to the house market - some concession should be made for this particular side of the market. It is hard enough as it is.
Denise Strauss, Southend on Sea - United Kingdom

More tax on Cigarettes, more tax on Alcohol, higher business tax on fast food outlets, larger charges for the corporate giants, forced application for council tax benefit and pension credits for stubborn elderly people who then go and protest about council tax charges, higher car tax charges for larger engined cars, scrap the TV licence, it's a tax in disguise. Issue an opt out clause for those wishing their tax NOT be used for military purposes, a higher tax bracket for those with criminal records, a life sentence of knowing what you did wrong will be with you always! I do believe I should be running the country, Nurse!
Lee

Increase property purchase taxes. For all the moaning about stamp duty, we pay far less in taxes here on buying property than our friends in Europe. Bring back the poll tax - much fairer than council tax turned out.
Jane, Wootton Beds

What I would like to see is the re-alignment of direct taxes on a grading scale. ie top rate of tax for people earning over 100,000 set at 50% like all other European countries, and a 45% tax rate for people earning over 50,000. As the government will be getting far more money in direct tax, they can in turn decrease the levels of indirect tax to help the poorer people of this nation. Finally, a date set for the introduction of the euro.
John K, London

As a small business in the East Midlands it would be nice for less red tape for business and reduced taxes to encourage more new businesses, before everything is moved offshore.
Mark S, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

People who can afford to drive "gas guzzlers" and further contribute to pollution should be made to pay much more
Paul, Poole, UK
I would like to see car road tax/CO2 emissions graded sensibly. People who can afford to drive "gas guzzlers" and further contribute to pollution should be made to pay much more, say 1,000 4000cc+ down to trivial amounts for small engined vehicles.
Paul, Poole, UK

An abolition on all 'unfair' indirect taxes such as car tax, VAT, Council Tax, Television Licence, alcohol duty, fuel tax and so on, and a simple increase in income tax. Let people contribute to society in a way that reflects their means.
James Pittman, England

National Insurance to be payable on total income so that the rich pay the same percentage of their income as the rest of us.
Phil, Lincoln UK

Restore the link between pensions and average earnings. Increase Pensioners personal allowances to free up more funds to enable payment of exorbitant council tax.
A.F.Harris, Stevenage England

An end to the government's war on savers
Al, London, UK
I would like to see an end to the government's war on savers. TESSAs were replaced with the less attractive ISAs and now the amount you can save in these tax free schemes has been reduced by 66%. If the government want us to save more for our retirement they should be increasing the amount we can save without paying tax not decreasing it.
Al, London, UK

I'd like a 24 hour waiver of duty on Guinness to mark St Patrick's day!
Mark W, London

A promise to use the money wisely instead of adding to the common person's burden due to fiscal incompetency.
Mal, London

Abolition of inheritance tax would be nice
Nick Britton, York
The abolition of inheritance tax would be nice. Failing that there should be a significant rise in the threshold and it should be linked to house prices.
Nick Britton, York

A removal van in Downing Street.
Graham, England

A progressive tax on those who own property to let, those MPs who are provided with more than one home (2 jags and 4 homes Prescott)and a special tax on those MPs using the Royal Jet!
Anonymous, UK

Less red tape for business and reduced taxes to encourage more new businesses, before everything is moved offshore.
Rick Hough, Knutsford, Cheshire

A significant rise in pensions and free nursing and personal care for all elderly people in need. Easily funded by closing a few tax loopholes on big business.
Ben Drake, York, UK

To raise the threshold for stamp duty and change the rules to make it more fair. I am a first time buyer currently trying to buy a shared ownership home. Even though I'm only buying 40% of the property I have two options - either pay stamp duty on 100% of the property or only pay 40% but then I will have to pay 100% of the total property value stamp duty on any further shares I buy in the property in the future. I could end up paying stamp duty 3 or 4 times just to buy one house! Affordable housing? Not really Mr Brown.
Claire, Devon

I'd rather do away with indirect taxes and pay a bit more on income tax
Andy Hale, North Yorkshire
I'm getting near retirement age and after 40 years in work (25 with the major UK banks) my pension is going to be abysmal (not all bank employees benefit from feather bed final salary schemes). I've been considering all the back door taxes that have been imposed on us from speed cameras (they haven't got me yet) via Insurance Policy Tax to the billions taken from our pension funds and I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that I'd rather do away with indirect taxes and pay a bit more on income tax. An increase Tax on income should hit hardest on high earners and reduce the burden on relatively low earners who seem to have been hit hard by these indirect taxes.
Andy Hale, North Yorkshire

A reduction in the bloated, superannuated, woefully inefficient public sector which is consuming 42% of GDP for very little apparent return.
A Jones, Cambridge, UK

I want the Chancellor of the Exchequer to publish a detailed Profit & Loss account and a Balance Sheet every year so that the British Public can see what their taxes have been spent on, how much and where.
Jim, Kirkcaldy, Scotland.

A huge cut in money spent on endless bureaucracy, which should translate to leaner cheaper services. A re-introduction of MIRAS on your primary dwelling to make mortgages more affordable, and strict controls on Benefit and NHS entitlement - strictly for UK citizens and EU citizens who actually contribute.
Graeme, England

A 60% tax band for those on fat cat wages and the famously overpaid. I would also like to see the point of paying 40% tax raised to a sensible level and leave people like my husband on 33,000 alone.
Pauline Yates, Suffolk, UK

I want car tax to be abolished and added to fuel. But as it's what every driver seems to want in this 'democracy', I doubt we will get it.
Grant, Teesside

Higher taxes on second homes. First-time buyers are being priced out the market by speculators using property for a second income. If you can afford more than one property, you can afford to pay more tax.
Damian Leach, UK

A huge reduction in Taxation! I pay tax on my wages & NIC, if I spend it, it is taxed again if I save it, it is taxed again. I pay council tax, road tax, fuel tax, I pay duty if I buy spirits and at the end I have very little money left. Give us a break! Do not put anymore tax on petrol the tourist industry in Scotland will suffer we pay far more for our fuel up here anyway!
Fed Up!, Scotland

The Chancellors big idea should be to abolish car tax and transfer the cost to fuel tax. This would guarantee a win at the next election.
Vernon Moyse, UK

The more I earn, the more I pay, the less I'm entitled to
Terence Summers, Andover

Fewer taxes. The more I earn, the more I pay, the less I'm entitled to. What's the point in trying to better yourself? It seems that whatever is earned is taken away to pay for those who just can't be bothered?
Terence Summers, Andover, England

A reduction in spending on the military and espionage, this will make the British seem less demonic to future generations.
jean, France

As a single man, I would like the budget to stop taxing me to the hilt, and give me some breaks. The current methods of taxation are extremely unfair towards single people, and it is about time they were given a break!
Andy, Leeds, UK

Higher carbon taxes, more money invested in recycling and greater subsidies for the rural economy.
William van Zwanenberg, England

How about a breather? A no change budget, just leave the country alone for a year and let us get on with it.
Gerry, UK

What about a tax on supermarket plastic bags? It will generate much-needed revenue for the government and they'll be able to tick the environmental box at the same time.
Colin, Norwich

A decent package for working parents would be nice
John Ellis, Nottingham, UK
A decent package for working parents would be nice. How about tax relief on the crippling costs of nursery fees ? Or married couples allowed to pool their tax free allowances which would especially benefit a family where one parent stays at home ? And greater taxation of the multi billion pound profits of big business - that should help to plug a bit of his enormous borrowings. And how about returning the 5billion that's being stolen from pensions funds each year?
John Ellis, Nottingham, UK

I want a higher bursary for Student nurses. While training I have to survive on under 5000 per year. Others in my group at college have families to support, but they get no more than what I get. If the Government is serious about training more nurses, it needs to make it more attractive. We need double, if not triple, what we get at present.
Joe, Hereford, England

Personally I'd like to see the end of car tax. To replaced by a one time registration fee of say 25 and the tax itself placed on petrol. Therefore the more you use the roads the more you pay. I'd also like to see a massive annual tax penalty on anyone owning more than 1 property, and the re-introduction of a high tax bracket for all the fat cats. I can dream.
David Hartley, Maidstone

Scrap council tax, bring back rates. Rates are a much fairer system, charge me tax based on the rateable value of my house, not double it just because the house across the road is worth 5 times more than mine. Lower fuel prices to a price that actually reflects the cost of fuel. Spend road tax revenue on the roads rather than charging us more for congestion on badly designed roads. All money from the N Lottery should go to the NHS and the NHS only. All MP's should earn a wage that is in line with the so called "Average Wage" At least then they could make decisions based on the real world instead of the one they live in. House the homeless and look after our own before we help others outside our country.
G Pearce, Brentwood, Essex

I would like a sensible review of pension planning. I am very worried about long term savings and really don't see why I should hand over my capital to an insurance company when I die.
Tony, Slough

A reduction in drink duty to make it comparable in price to other EU countries
Alastair, Perth, Scotland
Introduction of an environmental import tax on goods brought into the country to discourage unsustainable food and food miles. A higher rate of corporate tax on companies that outsource cheaper labour from abroad. A reduction in drink duty to make it comparable in price to other EU countries to discourage 'booze cruising'.
Alastair, Perth, Scotland

Does it matter what we want anyway?? Time and again the government refuses to listen to the public!
Amy Walshe, UK

Hike up the amount on cigarettes and shave a few pence off a beer.
Kenny, Bicester, England

Preferably a tax on those people who buy more than one property then let it out for rent. The supply chain might then improve and house prices might be more realistic.
Mike, UK

Many more people are having to pay this mean-spirited tax
Colin, Cirencester, England
I would like to see inheritance tax either abolished completely or an exemption made for residential property. The rise in property prices, especially in the South, has resulted in many more estates coming within the scope of this tax, in a way that was never meant to happen. The threshold level at which estates become subject to IHT has not moved to anything like the same extent, with the result that many more people are having to pay this mean-spirited tax out of money and assets that have been taxed extensively throughout life, and are now taxed again at death. How mean can the Chancellor get?
Colin, Cirencester, England

Mr Brown expects me to pay tax and NI as both the employer and employee, an effective rate of over 50%. He then expects me to meet the bulk of my business overheads from my personally taxed income. Ironically I'm even expected to pay a higher rate, because I have a bad debt!
Gary Kilminster, Wokingham, UK

I would like to see full fiscal control given to the Scottish Parliament.
Bill Connor, Tayport, Scotland

As it's nearing an election, things should be pretty generous. But I wonder if the British public will be that easily bought considering the past year? Speaking for myself, my vote isn't for sale. I want this government out.
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK

The economy is strong? Then how come nearly all of it is borrowed money that will cause headaches for everyone. I would love to see the cost of living reduced. It's long overdue
George Williams, Grays, Essex

I want the Tories to win the next election and slash taxation, cut benefits and make people work for a living instead of sponging off us taxpayers
Mike, London, England

Value for money? My salary back in my pocket to decide what to do with it? How would we pay for it? 2 on cigarettes, 50p on wine, beer and spirits and massive increases in drunk and disorderly fines.
Stuart, Romford, UK





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