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Spring Budget Summary

Following last weeks Budget, please see below our summary which may be of interest to you.

Economy
• Inflation set to fall to 0.2% this year
• Unemployment rate set to fall to 5.3% this year (now at 5.7%)
• Welfare bills set to be an average of £3 billion lower each year than estimated in the Autumn Statement
• Treasury to sell at least a further £9 billion of Lloyds Bank shares in the coming year
• Borrowing forecast for this year revised downwards to £90.2 billion, then £75.3 billion in 2015/16

Taxation
• Personal tax-free allowance is set to rise from £10,600 in 2015-16 to £10,800 2016-17 and then to £11,000 in 2017-18- cutting for 27 million people
• Higher tax rate threshold will rise from £42,385 this year to £43,300 by 2017-18
• From April, Corporation Tax for businesses making profit in excess of £300,000 will reduce to 20%
• New criminal penalties for tax evasion (including advisers) • Annual Paper tax returns to be scrapped completely
• Death of the tax return – Annual self-assessment return to be replaced by individual tax accounts
• Transferable tax allowance for married couples at 10% of personal allowance to be £1,100 by 2017
• To support five million people who are self-employed, Class 2 National Insurance Contributions to be abolished entirely from next year, and Class 4 contributions are to include a new benefit test
• National Insurance Contributions (NIC) to be abolished for employing under 21s
• Accountants and tax advisers working with contractors will be subject to new anti-avoidance legislation
• Clampdown on Umbrella companies using travel & expenses to increase contractor take home pay to be detailed in the small print

Oil & Gas sector
• £1.3bn tax breaks and support for North Sea oil and gas
• Petroleum tax reduced from 50% to 35% and supplementary tax cut from 30% to 20%
• Introduction of a new Investment Allowance Further reduction to the supplementary tax charge on oil and gas companies

Duties
• Fuel duty will be frozen again for 2015
• Beer duty cut by 1p
• Cider and spirit duty cut by 2%
• Wine duty frozen