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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 17:19 GMT
At-a-glance: Budget key points


  • Basic rate of income tax to fall from 22p to 20p from April next year.


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  • Lower starter rate of 10p to go, meaning all those who pay income tax will start at 20p in the pound - meaning little difference likely to take-home pay.

  • Top-rate income tax threshold will rise to 43,000 from April 2009.

  • From 2009, the cut-off point for National Insurance will be 43,000 a year - up from 34,840 this year. There will continue to be 1% National Insurance for earnings above that level.

  • Tax-free savings limit for ISA contributions will be increased to 7,200 from next April, of which 3,600 can be held in cash.


  • Beer will rise by 1p a pint from midnight Sunday, cider by 1p a litre, wine by 5p a bottle and sparkling wine by 7p. Duty on spirits will be frozen.

  • Cigarettes to rise by 11p a packet. VAT on nicotine patches and similar products to be cut from 17.5% to 5%.


  • Fuel duty up 2p per litre from October, in line with inflation.

  • Putting VAT on airline tickets ruled out.

  • Road tax on highest-polluting vehicles up to 300 and to 400 from April next year.

  • The least-polluting vehicles to have their duty cut to 35.


  • Child benefit, for a first child, will rise from 17.45 a week to 20 a week by 2010.

  • Some 50,000 16 to 17-year-olds who sign activity and learning agreements to receive a training wage in return for gaining skills.

  • The 40-a-week in-work bonus paid to lone parents to be extended to their first 12 months in work.

  • Education spending in England will rise from 60bn this year to 74bn in 2010. From now to 2010 spending per pupil rise by a further 20% - 10% cent in real terms - to 6,600

  • Public investment in science will rise from 5bn this year to 6.3bn by 2010/11.

  • Investment in the NHS in England to rise by 8bn this year.


  • Tax exemption for capital gains will rise from 8,800 to 9,200, and will be 18,400 for married couples.

  • Inheritance tax will threshold to rise from 285,000 now to 350,000 in 2010.


  • Tax-free allowance for pensioners under 75 will rise in three stages from 7,280 to 9,770 in 2011. For over-75s, the tax free allowance will rise annually from 7,420 to by 10,000 by 2011.

  • Grants of between 300 and 4,000 for pensioners installing insulation and central heating in their homes.

  • All the 125,000 people who lost their pensions because of company insolvency will get help with a financial assistance scheme increased from 2bn to 8bn.


  • Until 2012 all new zero carbon homes up to 500,000 will be exempt from stamp duty.

  • The landfill tax will rise by 8 a tonne each year from April 2008.


  • Corporation tax will be cut from 30p to 28p from April next year.

  • Tax rate on small companies to be raised in three stages from 20p this year to 22p in 2009.


  • Mr Brown said the British economy was growing faster than all the other G7 economies.

  • Inflation will be on target in 2008 and 2009, according to forecasts.

  • In the last year investment has grown by 6%, business investment by 7%, and inward investment by 10%. Business investment is forecast to rise again by more than 7% this year.

  • In the last year employment has risen, with 220,000 more men and women in work.

  • In 2008, Britain's growth will be the highest in the G7, between 2.5% and 3%.

  • Britain's net borrowing, which in the early 1990s went as high as 8% of national income is this year just 2.7%. It will fall to 1.4% by 2012.


  • Asset sales will rise from 18bn to 36bn, including a 6bn sale of the student loan book and further financial and corporate sales at home and overseas.

  • Investment in schools, hospitals, security and defence and infrastructure will rise from 43bn this year to 60bn by 2012.

  • Total government spending will rise to 674bn by 2010/11.

  • An extra 400m to be allocated to the Ministry of Defence to cover overseas commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    Below inflation spending settlements for some departments: Work and Pensions; Revenue and Customs; Cabinet Office; Treasury; Department for Constitutional Affairs; Attorney General's Office.

  • Efficiency savings of 3% each year to mean the government can release 26bn a year by 2010/11 for frontline services.


  • 50m for a 10-country initiative across central Africa to prevent the destruction of the second largest rain forest in the world.

  • 800m to the Environmental Transformation Fund, jointly run by the international development and environment secretaries.

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