A neutral Budget with a few surprises

George Osborne, the chancellor, introduced his second Budget yesterday saying: “This is not a tax-raising Budget, nor can we afford a give-away.”  Basically, he was completely constrained by the emergency Budget last year and the October Spending Review. He was further handicapped by a downgrade in the forecasts for economic growth, coming from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Only five … Continue reading

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Will a rise in national insurance reduce UK jobs?

The current Labour government has put in place plans for a rise in National Insurance contributions (NICs) from April 2011 of 0.5% on employees and 0.5% for employers. Obviously, if Labour says ‘left’ the Tories have to jump and say ‘right’ and vice versa. Well, we can only expect this during an election period, although it is pretty much a … Continue reading

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Shock cut in bingo duty

A reduction in bingo duty from 25% to 20% was the centrepiece of yesterday’s Pre Election Manifesto – sorry, Pre Budget Report – presented by chancellor, Alistair Darling.   Whilst it’s true that the chancellor had all the room to manoeuvre of a man holding a wake in a telephone box, he actually played safe by doing ….well…..doing virtually nothing. … Continue reading

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Public sector borrowing rises at record level

Public sector borrowing rose in May by £19.9bn., which compares with a rise of £12.2bn in the same month last year.  This is the largest monthly increase since records began.  This means that in the first two months of the new fiscal year, there was a total budget deficit of £30.5bn. Borrowing in April and May was almost 50% up … Continue reading

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