[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 13:49 GMT
Pre-Budget report: point-by-point
The main points from Chancellor Gordon Brown's pre-Budget speech in the House of Commons:


  • From February, air passenger duty will rise from 5 to 10 for most flights.

  • There will be an inflation rise in fuel duty from midnight. The fuel duty escalator will not be restored. The rise will come to 1.25 pence a litre.

  • Tax discounts for biofuels will be extended.


  • In April, benefit payments for the poorest children will rise to 64 a week.

  • Every mother will get additional child benefit in the last months of pregnancy from April 2009.


  • Basic state pension to rise 3.6% in April and pension credit minimum guarantee to rise 5 for single people and 7.65 for couples.


  • Capital investment in education next year will be 8.3bn.

  • Direct payments to schools will go up in April from 39,000 to 50,000 for primaries and 150,000 to 200,000 for secondaries.


    Most computers will open this document automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader

  • Mr Brown said his goal was 12,000 new or completely refurbished schools - half of all primaries and 90% of secondaries - and 100 rebuilt colleges and 3,500 new children's centres.

  • By 2020, 90% of adults should achieve five GCSEs or equivalent, he added.

  • Former CBI director general Sir Digby Jones will take up a new role in boosting skills.

  • The government will consult on 2,000 bursaries to encourage young people in care to go to university.

  • New "summer universities", along with work experience and coaching, would be established to encourage people to stay on in education after 16.

  • Universities will receive 60m for applied research to help Britain "transform knowledge into successful products and new jobs".


  • From next year, most new carbon-zero homes will be exempt from stamp duty.

  • A further 300,000 households are to be offered free insulation and free central heating.

  • Planning decisions on major infrastructure projects are to be made by an independent planning body.

  • Another 160,000 families are to be helped onto the housing ladder through shared equity schemes.


  • The normal budget period for funding voluntary and other groups will rise from one year to three years.

  • Councils will get 30m to encourage community ownership of community assets.


  • Mr Brown said the government's aim was to "unleash" the economy.

  • Economic growth this year is expected to be 2.75%, rising to between 2.75% and 3% next year, he added.

  • By mid-2007 Mr Brown said he expected inflation to be at its 2% target.

  • He said 10 years ago, Britain was bottom of the G7 league for national income per head but was now second only to the US.

  • More than 16 million people have tax-free ISA accounts.

  • Britain will meet both its fiscal rules in this economic cycle and the next.

  • The overall surplus for this economic cycle is 8bn, meeting the "golden rule", while borrowing will fall from 2.3% of national income to 1.3% by 2011.

  • China and other economies were competing on skilled workers, so the UK's had to "out-innovate" competitors.

  • The "new priority" was "world-leading" investments in areas such as transport and education, Mr Brown said.


  • The minimum wage is now 5.35 an hour and in January penalties for failing to pay it will rise, Mr Brown said.

  • There will be a 50% increase to 9m in the Budget to monitor and to police the minimum wage.


  • An extra 600m will be provided for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere and another 84m for intelligence.


  • New penalties will be introduced for film and music piracy, alongside greater rights to copy for personal use.

  • Next year will see the introduction of the new tax relief for film-making.

    Gordon Brown delivers his pre-Budget report

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Has China's housing bubble burst?
    How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
    Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific