Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his first budget since the Conservatives were elected to power in May
More from: Budget 2015: At a glance
Today’s emergency budget was the first fully Conservative budget for almost 20 years.
In what he said would be a ‘budget for working people’, the chancellor said the government would be ‘bold in delivering infrastructure and building the Northern Powerhouse’.
There was little mention of housing, planning or infrastructure in the announcements which largely focused on taxes, wages, and benefits.
Below the AJ picks out the key points of Osborne’s summer budget.
- Business investment was 31.9 per cent higher than in 2010
- More than 2 million more people are in work than at the start of the last parliament
- UK economy grew by three per cent in 2014
- The deficit is expected to be 3.7 per cent of national income in 2015
- GDP is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2015
- The surplus is expected to be £10 billion in 2019-2020
Osborne said the government would announce a new set of planning reforms on Friday (10 July).
Northern regions – the Northern Powerhouse
Devolution to UK regions and cities has begun in Manchester and Osborne announced that further powers would be devolved to the city including the creation of a land commission.
Other cities following suit with elected mayors and devolution powers include Sheffield, Liverpool, and Leeds.
Transport for the North is set to get £30 million of funding for an Oyster card-style public transport system across the north.
The government is set to invest £4 million to a UK Regions Digital Research Facility at UCL, and a further £10 billion is also planned for investment in transport in the capital.
It also stated its support for the Museum of London’s proposals to move from London Wall to Smithfield Market.
Osborne has restated the introduction of the Help-to-Buy ISA and the Right-to-Buy for housing associations.
‘We are removing the artificial cap on student numbers but we can’t afford to do this unless we tackle the cost of student maintenance grants. Student maintenance grants are unaffordable’, said Osborne as he scrapped the grants.
Student maintenance grants will be abolished from the 2016 academic year. They will be replaced by student loans to be paid back once graduates are earning more than £21,000. The maximum value for the maintenance loan is to be set at £8,200.
Tuition fees are set to rise in line with inflation.
Permanent non-domicile tax status has been abolished, raising £1.5 billion throughout the course of the next parliament.
‘Inheritance tax is not fair and we will act on it’, said Osborne. From 2017, there will be a new £175,000 allowance on homes left to children or grandchildren, allowing £1 million to be passed on tax-free.
The tax free personal allowance has been raised to £11,000. The threshold at which the higher rate kicks in will go up to £43,000.
A new national living wage compulsory for people aged 25 years and over will be introduced from next April. It will launch at £7.20 per hour and is set to rise to £9 per hour by 2020.
The government will fund a permanent memorial for victims of terrorism overseas. This could pave the way for a design contest like that which resulted in the Carmody Groarke-designed memorial for those killed by the 7/7 bombings.