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Budget 2006: Live Report



  • Last chancellor to deliver ten budgets in a row was in 1822.

  • Inflation 2% and on target, economy growing at 2.5%.

  • Budget to strengthen Britain for global challenges ahead.

  • Chancellor promises no return to 'boom and bust'.

  • New remit for debt management office.

  • Official statistics made the responsibility of independent board. New memorandum of understanding between Bank of England, FSA and Treasury.

  • Growth expected to be 2-2.5% in 2006, and 2.75-3.25% in 2007.

  • Britain risen to second among the G7 in national income per head.

  • First fiscal rule met by a margin of £16 billion.

  • Net public investment risen to 26 billion.

  • Net debt fallen to 36.4% of national income, meeting second fiscal rule.

  • Net borrowing forecast to fall to 1.5%.

  • Rejected representations for third fiscal rule.

  • Single budget for medical research worth £1 billion a year.

  • Simplified process for research funding.

  • More support for science training in schools.

  • To boost creative industries, expanding R&D tax credit by doubling the size of companies able to claim 150% R&D tax credit relief.

  • Review of NI and income tax alignment.

  • New help for working women.

  • Minimum wage increased to £5.35.

  • Introduction of REITS confirmed.

  • Expansion of shared equity schemes.

  • Rejected representations to abolish Climate Change Levy, and levy will increase with inflation from 2007.

  • Will propose fund for developing countries to invest in alternative energy technologies.

  • Creation of national energy and environmental research institute.

  • New incentives to encourage energy efficiency.

  • New fund to promote micro-generation technologies.

  • Zero rate of road tax for lowest emmission vehicles. New band of £210 for most polluting cars.

  • Fuel duty frozen until September 2006.

  • Income tax allowances to rise in line with inflation.

  • Child element of child tax credit increased. Child benefit increased.

  • Child Trust fund to include £250 and £500 at age seven.

  • Tax free childcare voucher to rise.

  • No change on Corporation Tax.

  • Cigarettes, wine and beer to rise in line with inflation. Duty on spirits frozen.

  • ISAs unchanged.

  • Stamp duty exemption threshold to rise to £125,000.

  • IHT exemption threshold increased to £325,000.

  • No expansion in VAT.

  • £200 million to train Olympic athletes.

  • £34 million for new National Sports Foundation.

  • HMRC, Treasury, DWP agree to necessary modernisation through Innovation Fund.

  • Measures to ensure all young people "have the best of chances".

  • Average investment per pupil in state sector to rise to level of private sector.

  • Free off peak national bus travel for pensioners.

  • Increase in direct payments to schools.

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