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The budget

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offline Stu B

Stu B
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"The Budget 2004 at a glance
The Chancellor promised "a budget that would lock in economic stability that can and will endure."


Corporation and capital gains tax rates frozen.

Betting duty rates frozen and the tax treatment of betting exchanges to be examined.

Stamp duty rates frozen.

Air passenger tax frozen.

Insurance premium tax frozen.

Inheritance tax threshold level increased to £263,000 - so more people will be exempt from paying and the rates frozen - 95% of estates will pay no inheritance tax at all.

Churches to be able to reclaim all VAT

Taxes on pension schemes to be simplified.


Lower duty rises for cleaner fuels - Diesel up 2.4p and sulphur fuel up 1.9p a litre.

Road tax frozen

Drinks and fags

No increase on cider and sparkling wine.

Spirits duty frozen until the next election.

Beer up 1p a pint, wine up 4p a bottle.

Cigarettes up 8p for 20.


Extra cash to help with council tax bills - those over 70, on top of the winter fuel payment, will be paid an additional £100 to each household.


Mr Brown said house building must rise substantially.

He promised that more public sector land would be released for housing and that there would be more consultations on social housing. He said more affordable housing must be delivered.

He said he would consider all the reports on housing that he had set in motion and would consider their recommendations. He promised he would strike the right balance between the economic and social case for development and environmental and housing needs.

The economy

The economy grew by 2.3% in 2003 - meeting Treasury forecasts. Mr Brown said Britain was enjoying the longest sustained period of economic growth in 200 years. He said Britain needed investment in science, education and enterprise. Britain is the closest to full employment for a generation, said Mr Brown.

Domestic demand set to grow by 3.5% this year. Inflation forecast at 1.75% this year and 2% next year. Manufacturing to grow 2% this year and 2% next, said the Chancellor.

He forecast growth as 3-3.5% in 2005 and 2.5-3% in 2006. He said the economy would be strengthening throughout 2004.

He said low debt countries could borrow for investment. It is in the national interest and strengthened economic fundatmentals. He would not neglect the need for a balanced budget in the long term.

He said debt this year is 33% of national income and that our National Debt was lower than that of Britain's main competitors. His borrowing forecast was 3.4% of GDP this year.


He said there would be no further euro assessment this year and there would be a further Euro assessment next Budget.

Public spending

NHS to get 10% cash rise every year to 2008

Transport and Defence and the Home Office to get real terms spending increase.

Extra funds for science and education. Education spending to be £8.1bn by 2008.

Every secondary school to be refurbished by 2015.

Training for everyone up to the age of 18

Funds for Sure Start and early education to rise by 17%. 1,700 children centres by 2008 towards goal of a children centre in every community.

Cutting bureaucracy

20,000 civil servants to be moved out of Whitehall to the regions.

Department of Work and Pensions to lose more 30,000 staff over four years, with its budget cut by more than 5% by 2008.

Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue to be merged and to lose 14,000 jobs.

All departments will cut back room administration budgets by at least 5% by 2008.


Distributed profits on small companies to be taxed at 19%, bringing them into line with other companies. Investment allowances for the smallest businesses increase from 40 per cent to 50 per cent for one year initially.

Firms with turnover under £58,000 to be exempt from VAT. For the film industry a tax loophole has been closed. From now on tax reliefs will be paid directly to the film-makers themselves. The new relief, will be set at a new and higher level of 20%.

Climate change levy, rates frozen and the number of businesses who can benefit from 80 per cent discounts extended.

Aggregates levy rates frozen and in in Northern Ireland relief extended to cover all aggregates.


International development aid to be increased.

There is to be a cash incentive to encourage small and medium sized firms to set up their own payroll giving schemes.

With 2005 the British Year of the Volunteer, the government will consider new resources for two volunteering initiatives: first to encourage and extend mentoring; and second to encourage national community service by young people.

The Chancellor announced matched funding for a year for the Commonwealth Education Fund which supports the objective that by 2015 every child everywhere has primary education and matched funding also for the Sports Relief charity which will work with Comic Relief in tackling AIDs and poverty in Africa.

Other measures

£1bn extra funding for local councils.

£5bn raised from sale of public land "

offline Halifax Lass

Halifax Lass
  • First XI - Sub
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And of course you weren't just lazing around watching tv were you? It was all research for your A Levels!!!! <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

offline Bridge

  • Youth Team Coach
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Thank god for the BBC website!!

offline Stu B

Stu B
  • National Squad - 2nd XI
  • Posts: 3,741
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2002
Halifax Lass said:

And of course you weren't just lazing around watching tv were you? It was all research for your A Levels!!!! <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Exactly!!My economics teacher said i had to reseach it so i did <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> And i got it from the tiscali homepage <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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