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Budget 2014 sketch: Eight things we learned from George Osborne's big briefin

gChancellor George Osborne delivered his 2014 Budget to a packed House of Commons this afternoon. We already knew about his announcements on childcare and the new pound coin, but there were still plenty of new policies to reveal. And it wasnt just the usual suspects of petrol, cigarettes and alcohol. Sunday People political editor Nigel Nelson was in the chamber to see the goings on and hear the reaction in the room during Osbornes 55 minute briefing. So what did we learn? 1) Inflation hits Ken Clarke Easy does it Ken! (Image: Getty) We learned before George Osbornes Budget speech even began that former Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke has expanded to take up the space of three MPs. It was not obvious to TV viewers

because the cameras do not show the MPs overflow gallery above the House of Commons chamber where Clarke was sitting to watch the Budget. He had sprawled out across the bench wi

th his legs akimbo and tummy protruding. And when other MPs who could not find a seat in the chamber downstairs came upstairs to join him, there was not enough room for them. So they began to bob up and down like a Mexican wave as they squeezed into spaces too small for their bottoms. Eventually Clarke realised he was the bench blocker, and shifted slightly. But neither he, nor they, looked happy. 2) No benefit

from the Budget for benefit claimants The Chancellor skated over details of his new welfare cap as if he was on the thin ice of a frozen pond which might break at any moment and swallow him up. And he gave few details anyway. We know that in 2015-16 welfare will be plugged at 119billion, goin

g up to 122billion in 2016-17 and 124.6billion in 2017-18. These sound like big sums, but if you do the sums they mean cuts

. Osborne gave an idea where the axe might fall, but not how much would be chopped off each time it does. Jobseekers, Universal Credit claimants with no other income, pensioners and over-75s with free TV licences can breathe a sigh of relief; they wont be affected. Carers, the disabled, Bedroom Tax victims, pregnant women, child benefit recipients and a long list of others will. Winter fuel and cold weather payments also face reductions. 3) Its enough to bring a tear to the eye... ...of pension fund managers. George Osborne announced that from April 2015, anyone aged 55 or over could take their entire pension pot if they wished rather than be forced to hang onto much of it to buy some piddling annuity. This is good news for pensioners, but bad news for the pensions industry who will now make less money out of annuities. John Overs, partner at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner tried to put a brave face on it. He said: “Retirees will now be presented with a greater choice of products from the industry.” Or they just may all go down to the Boat of the Year Show, furnish themselv

es with luxury yachts and sail off round the world. More likely they can invest the money in property. George Osborne will get a windfall out of it, too. Not only will those who take the money have to pay their marginal rate of income tax on it, but George will get the sales taxes

on the products they buy. 4) Good news for Bingo comes out of legs 11 Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will start

in8CancelPlay now Well, the Chancellors official residence at Number 11, Downing Street to be more accurate. The Bingo industry had been hoping for a cut in duty from 20 per cent to 15 per cent to bring them in line with most of the rest of the gambling industry, a campaign supported by the Sunday People. In the event the Chancellor decided to halve Bingo tax to 10 per cent, which means

the industry can invest 30million in new clubs and refurbish existing ones. It will be a tremendous boost for the game. And at the same time he backed another Sunday People campaign, this one against high-stakes Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in high street bookies. Their tax goes up from 20 per cent to 25 per cent. Now if Culture Secretary Maria Miller can be persuaded to help problem gamblers by reducing the maximum stake to 2 and reduce the number of machines allowed in betting shops from four to one then the Sunday People really will be shouting: “Bingo”. 5) Salvation for savers Osborne was conscious savers have had a rough time of it because of low interest rates, and hes got a

n eye on the 2015 General Election – happy savers are more likely to vote Tory. So individual savings accounts will become the New ISAs on the principle that a NISA is nicer. It means that from July you will be able to save 15,000 in cash, or a combination of cash and stocks. Thats an increase of 3,480 on the old limit. 6) The million pound joke Ed Miliband was in the firing line before he got his chance to speak (Image: REUTERS) As George Osborne was handing out sweeties he thought hed also treat him

self to a little sugar to help the Budget medicine go down. So he set up a gag that cost him a million quid to deliver. The money goes to the Magna Carta Trust to commemorate the 800 signing of the first bill of rights in 1215. But the joke was on Ed Miliband. The Chancellor couldnt resi

st pointing out the Great Charter was foisted on King John, “a weak leader who had risen to the top after betraying his brother, and compelled to sign on the dotted line by a gang of unruly barons”. Perhaps Mr Osborne should have paid for his own joke himself. 7) Smokers cough up again Its going to be 28p on a pack of 20 from 6pm tonight, but beer drinkers get another 1p off a pint, spirits and cider are frozen and wine will only rise by inflation. 8) Taking a pot at holes Motorists say that what mos藏宝图四肖八肖八马 t annoys them about driving is

smashing into a pothole, and the expensive repairs to thei

r cars that causes. If plugging the holes can pot their votes in the blue pocket then the 200million Osborne has set aside for local authorities to make good their highways will be money well spent. Anything to snooker Labour. Get more Budget ne

ws and reaction on our dedicated page. poll loadingWhat is your verdict on George Osbornes Budget?0+ VOTES SO FARHitMiss

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