By Tristan Harris Thursday 21 March 2013 Updated: 21/03 12:49
ASPIRING homeowners, beer drinkers and motorists in Bromsgrove were the winners as Chancellor George Osborne delivered his budget in the House of Commons on Wednesday (March 20).
Tax on a pint of beer will be cut by 1p from Sunday (March 24) while September's proposed 3p increase in fuel duty has been scrapped in a bid to ease pressure at the pumps for motorists.
Home-buyers have also been given a boost with a pledge of a 20 per cent Government loan on top of a five per cent deposit for residents to get on or move up the housing ladder.
Mr Osborne announced £130billion had been set aside by the Government in loans to kickstart the country's sluggish housing market.
Residents will also pay no income tax on the first £10,000 they earn from next April, up from the £9,400 threshold which is being introduced this April.
The Chancellor also unveiled a new childcare scheme for households where both parents work and do not receive tax credits which will see the Government provide 20 per cent of parents childcare costs, up to £1,200 for each child.
Spirit and wine drinkers were hit in the pocket though, with rises of around 53p and 10p on a bottle of each coming in from this weekend while a further 26p on a packet of cigarettes will go ahead.
Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, who is also a Treasury Minister, said he was proud to play his part.
"We're in a global race. We need to equip people to succeed and achieve their aspirations.
"That's what this budget was about - ensuring that Britain starts living within its means.
"Helping businesses continue the record rate of job creation - with the highest number of people in jobs than ever before in our history.
"And cutting taxes for the lower paid. The increase in the personal allowance to £10,000 means tax cuts for more than 34,000 people in Bromsgrove and 24 million nationally."
But Northfield MP Richard Burden was scathing.
"However much George Osborne may try to duck or dive to shirk his own responsibility, the facts won’t go away.
"He’s borrowing nearly £100billion more than he planned but the economy is still flat lining three years after he took over.
"The casualties are people like the 3,000 young people in Birmingham who have been out of work for more than a year.
"Young people are our future but the Government’s failures today are sapping their chances of building that future."
He said, like all budgets, there were a few giveaways, such as reductions in beer duty and the scrapping of the fuel duty increase.
"But some of the things which George Osborne was bragging about on Wednesday are not all they are cracked up to be.
"He talked about tax breaks for families on low incomes – but these are precisely the people he’s already hitting hardest with his changes to tax credits, housing benefit changes and the bedroom tax.
"He talked about cutting Corporation Tax to help businesses. That’s good for banks and other big firms already making big profits - but it’s pretty useless for an innovative small business trying finance investment to win orders and create jobs.
"Some of his mortgage help plans sound good - but unless he also boosts house-building and does something to help those who have to rent rather than buy, he could end up simply fuelling a new housing bubble followed by a crash.
"George Osborne either doesn’t understand these realities or he’s just got his priorities wrong.
"He’ll be giving millionaires a tax break in two weeks but he’s making families wait two years for the help with childcare he’s promised.
"That sounds to me like it’s his priorities that are wrong."
Mike Ashton, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said more could have been done to support enterprise and growth.
"All businesses will welcome the decision not to carry out the planned 3p per litre rise in fuel duty and local beer producers are welcoming the 1p per pint cut in duty on beer," he added.
"Whilst these are all positive steps, more could have been done to further support businesses with policies such as scrapping the damaging increases in rates."
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