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Budget 2015: The measures that affect you

It’s been less than two days since Chancellor, George Osborne presented his 2015 Budget to the House of Commons.

Mr Osborne believes Britain is “walking tall” once again and that the government’s “plan is working”.

“Today I report on a Britain that is growing, creating jobs and paying its way,” said Osborne.

“We will use whatever resources we have to get the deficit down. This is a Budget that takes Britain on one big step on the road from austerity to prosperity.”

With that in mind, here is a final summary of the measures the Chancellor proposes for the next Parliament that could affect your small business:

Economic growth

  • The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts economic growth at 2.5 per cent for 2015.

  • The UK economy is forecast to expand by 2.3 per cent for the following three years and then 2.4 per cent in 2019.

  • Inflation expected to fall to just 0.2 per cent in 2015.

Savings and pensions

  • Mr Osborne believes the pensions lifetime allowance is unsustainable and will be slashed from £1.25m to £1m, affecting less than four per cent of people.

  • Savers won’t be required to pay any tax on interest on the first £1,000, or £500 for higher-rate taxpayers.

  • A new Help to Buy ISA has been launched, with every £200 saved resulting in a government top-up of £50. (Additional ISAs will be made more flexible, allowing savers to keep tax benefits when they take money out and put it in).

Tax issues

  • Tax-free personal allowance to rise to £10,800 next year and £11,000 the following year – resulting in tax cuts for 27 million people.

  • Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) to be abolished.

  • 40p tax threshold to climb to £43,300 in 2017-18.

  • Osborne’s aspiration is to eventually increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the 40p rate to £50,000.

  • Corporation tax will be slashed to 20p from 2016, and further simplified to reduce relief on foreign branches.

  • Tax loopholes within UK system to be closed, raising £3.1bn.

  • Voluntary advanced assurances to be issued for SMEs making first R&D tax credits claims from autumn 2015.


  • Osborne pledges to double UK Trade and Investment’s resources for exporting to China.

Local initiatives

  • Osborne plots creation of a ‘Northern Powerhouse’, with a comprehensive transport strategy for the North in the offing.

  • Business rate receipts devolved to Manchester, with Cambridge the next city on the list set to have such powers devolved.

  • The expansion of eight enterprise zones across the UK – two new zones to be created in Blackpool and Plymouth.


  • Apprentices to receive a 57p wage boost to £3.30 an hour.

  • Mr Osborne unveiled the government’s new Apprenticeship Voucher, giving businesses a greater say in the quality, value for money and relevance of apprenticeship training.

Fuel duty

  • Fuel Duty frozen again, resulting in further savings of “£10 a tank”, according to Osborne.

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