With all eyes on Westminster….

With all eyes on Westminster….

Darling’s statement – the continuation thread

Alistair Darling has given his Pre-Budget Report speech, with the highlights being largely as expected: VAT cut from 17.5% to 15% for 13 months beginning on Monday, and an increase in the basic rate of Income Tax to 45% for those earning over £150,000.

What had not been leaked was the increase in National Insurance Contributions by 0.5% from April 2011 which has been targetted by George Osborne in his rebuttal. Similarly, I would be interested to see how increases in taxes on Tobacco, Alcohol and Fuel is treated in the press – this is designed to pay for the VAT reduction.

Stay at PB.com for the most-insightful reactions of our erudite commenters, and don’t forget to tune into Mike Smithson on Sky News (press the red button now).



Growth forecast for this year revised to read 0.75%, with forecast for next year revised to show the economy shrinking by between 0.75% and 1.25%

Borrowing forecast revised to £78bn (2008), £118bn (2009), £108bn (2010)

10p tax rebate made permanent at £145, and Vehicle Excise Duty increases deferred to 2010. Child Benefit to increase in January 2009 instead of April 2009.

£15m for free Debt Advice. £750m for Social Housing brought forward, and mortgage lenders will be prevented from seeking repossessions until mortgage-payers are at least three months in arrears.

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