- Fuel duty went down by a penny.
- Employees' National Insurance went up - that's the "con" tax which pretends it's our social security tax but actually just goes into the general tax pool. The chancellor announced he is going to consult on merging NI with income tax. About bloody time too.
- The tax free personal allowances goes up by £1,000 from 6th April BUT the band where you start to pay higher rate (40%) tax drops by £2,400, so anyone earning over £42,475 is immediately worse off.
I feel most aggrieved about the drop in the banding for higher rate tax. When you think about it in context, £42.5k isn't that high a salary: the average salary in London is £31k; the average house price in the UK is £180k; the average council tax on that house is £1.5k; the average car costs more than £10k; and an outer London zone 5 annual travelcard is £1,880. This isn't the first time games have been played with the 40% tax band - when I started working in tax, the higher rate kicked in at about £37k; 20 years later, while average salaries have more than doubled, it has barely moved. If it had risen at the same rate as inflation (which is what the bands were meant to do), then it would be over £50k.
As for me, I expect to be £20/month or £230.93 per annum worse off. That's what the BBC's budget calculator tells me http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12773565.
- Pam (more belt tightening)