Chancellor Osborne delivers 2011 Budget
Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his Budget speech today, what he has described as a “Budget for growth”.
Firstly, Mr Osborne unveiled a scheme aimed at helping 10,000 first-time buyers purchase new-build flats and houses.
The buyer would have to fund 5% of the cost, while the Government and home builder would both put up 10%.
The measures come as first-time buyers continue to struggle to get a foot on the property ladder as without a substantial deposit, they are unable to secure a mortgage.
Furthermore, he revealed that the plan to help out-of-work homeowners with mortgage arrears will be extended.
Mr Osborne announced tax breaks from April 2012 – increasing the amount people can earn before paying tax by around £600 to £8,000. The move is expected to save 25 million people approximately £45 a year.
In the meantime, next month’s 4p increase in fuel duty has been cancelled, while a further 1p a litre will be reduced from the pumps at 6pm.
The move is designed to help motorists suffering from record petrol prices.
Tobacco tax has been increased by 2% but alcohol duties and air passenger duty have been frozen.
Meanwhile, measures aimed at boosting enterprise were announced – including a further reduction to corporation tax.
Presenting his Budget, Mr Osborne said: “Today’s Budget is about reforming the nation’s economy, so that we have enduring growth and jobs in the future.
“And it’s about doing what we can to help families with the cost of living and the high oil price,” he added.
In addition, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) today delivered its latest forecasts for economic growth.
The independent OBR, which was set up by the coalition Government to assess the state of public finances, lowered its 2011 economic growth forecast to 1.7% from its previous estimate of 2.1%.