A Budget For Scotland - Chancellor Presents Spring Budget To Parliament

The Chancellor George Osborne presented his 2015 Spring Budget to the House of Commons today in what has been lauded a "budget for Scotland". The budget contained a variety of major announcments designed to help continue Britains rapid economic growth and also to reward hardworking people across the country. Among those key announcements was the pledge to further increase the tax-free personal allowance to £11,000 by 2017/18. This will be an extra £4525 per annum made tax-free since the Conservatives took over in 2010. The Chancellor also pledged the third cut in a row to beer duty by 1% and also cider duty will be cut by 1% too which will be a very welcome boost to the industry. However the Chancellor also cut whisky duty by 2% which will be a major boost to the industry in Scotland which only recently reported a loss in annual net sales. The Chancellor froze fuel duty again, helping Britains motorists and has also pledged to tax diverted profits, tackling the scourge of major firms attempting to artificially move profits offshore.

See below the comprehensive list of announcements in today's budget, courteosy of the BBC:

Public borrowing/deficit/spending

Deficit halved since 2010 as a share of national income

Borrowing set to fall from £97.5bn in 2013-14 to £90.2bn in 2014-15, £75.3bn in 2015-6, £39.4bn in 2016-7, £12.8bn in 2017-8 before reaching a £5.2bn surplus in 2018-9

Debt as a share of GDP to fall from 80.4% in 2014 to 80.2% in 2015-16 before falling in every year, reaching 71.6% in 2019-20

Squeeze on public spending to end a year earlier than planned in 2019-2020, with spending in 2019-2020 to grow in line with the growth of the economy

Welfare bills set to be an average of £3bn lower each year than predicted in December, and interest charges on government gilts £35bn lower

£13bn mortgage assets from Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley to be sold

Pensions

Pension pot lifetime allowance to be reduced from £1.25m to £1m from next year, saving £600m annually.

Law to be changed to allow pensioners to access their annuities, with 55% tax charge abolished and tax applied at the marginal rate.

Alcohol, tobacco and fuel

Beer duty cut by 1p and cider by 2p.

2% cut in excise duty on scotch whisky

Petrol duty frozen - September's planned increase cancelled.

Personal taxation

The tax-free personal allowance to rise from £10,600 in 2015-6 to £10,800 in 2016-7 and £11,000 in 2017-8

The threshold at which people start paying 40p income tax to rise by above inflation from £42,385 in 2014-5 to £43,300 in 2017-8

Annual paper tax returns to be abolished

Transferable tax allowance for married couples to rise to £1,100

Review of inheritance tax avoidance through "deeds of variation"

Savings

New personal savings allowance - first £1,000 interest on savings income to be tax-free for basic rate taxpayers. £500 allowance for 40p tax ratepayers.

Annual savings limit for ISA increased to £15,240

"Fully flexible" ISA will allow savers to withdraw money and put it back later in the year without losing any of their tax-free allowance

New "Help to Buy" ISA for first-time buyers will allow government to top up by £50 every £200 saved for a deposit

Armed forces

A further £75m from Libor fines to go to charities for regiments which fought in Afghanistan and government to contribute towards permanent memorial to those who died in Afghanistan and Iraq and help renovate Battle of Britain memorials

£25m to support army veterans, including nuclear test veterans

Business

Tax on "diverted profits" to come into effect next month, aimed at multinational firms moving profits "artificially offshore"

Annual bank levy to rise to 0.21%, raising an extra £900m. Banks to be barred from deducting compensation for mis-selling from corporation tax

Supplementary charge on North Sea oil producers to be cut from 30% to 20% while petroleum revenue tax to fall from 50% to 35%

New tax allowance to encourage investment in North Sea

Review of business rates

Automatic gift aid limit for charities to be extended to £8,000