LIVE: Budget 2013
5 PM UPDATE:
Ben Leach, Mortgage and business finance consultant at Vision Independent Financial Advisers, sent us his reaction to the budget:
Any schemes to help get first time buyers and buyers with small depsoits on the property ladder is helpful in the current climate, especially in Cornwall where house prices are so high compared to very modest incomes.
This scheme seems to be very much like the new buy scheme the government started last year where only a 5% deposit was required to purchase a new build property and a guarantee was offered for the remainder of the depsoit required to enable buyers to buy a new build house under the curent lending guidlines set by the banks.
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The take up on the old new buy scheme was very low compared to expectations and I wander wether this scheme will be any more successful? The problems are that there are only a few lenders that will lend under these schemes and applicants still need to meet affordability criteria.
I think potential buyers need a greater understanding of the schemes available and people get scared by the schemes because they do not undertand them also most people just want to buy a house in the normal way and the only way this can happen is if the banks loosen their criteria and the need for bigger deposits to get a good rate.
Time will tell which lenders will support this new scheme, what rates they will offer and what criteria they will set but as I have already said anything is a help in this market.
4.30 PM UPDATE:
Reacting to George Osborne’s Budget, Richard Ayre, chairman of the Institute of Directors in the South West, said: “We applaud the Budget; it offers the South West still more positivity coming as it does so quickly after the Hinckley Point planning approval announcement.
“As a national policy, deficit reduction is a necessity, George Osborne has stuck to his guns and it’s just what we wanted to see.
“Businesses will be glad that the downward pressure on Corporation Tax will continue. Britain must become the most competitive place to do business, and this will undoubtedly help; lower taxes will attract welcome investment from abroad.
“The new allowance to reduce the tax on employing people is welcome too. Businesses are working hard to grow and this will provide a new catalyst. Enterprise has done much to improve the employment figures so it’s right that they’re rewarded for doing so.”
4 PM UPDATE:
Cider makers have called on chancellor George Osborne to extend the duty break for beer to include cider and all other drinks.
Paul Bartlett, chair of the National Association of Cider Makers said: "We welcome the news that the Chancellor believes the duty escalator is flawed, but we are disappointed he has decided to remove it just for beer.
"We look forward to having the opportunity to discuss with government the removal of the duty escalator for all alcohol, including cider."
In his Budget Statement George Osborne announced a 1p a reduction in the price of a pint from this Sunday night, but just for beer, which covers lager, ale, and stout. It was explained as a measure to help pub landlords after years of declining sales and pub closures.
Paul Bartlett added: "Cider makers will recognise the benefit for a hard-pressed pub industry from this move. As vibrant pubs have a drinks offer much broader than just beer, the abolition of the escalator for all alcohol would have gone further."
James Staughton, Managing Director of St Austell Brewery, welcomed the Chancellors announcement, which has come after a broad and persuasive campaign uniting the industry and consumers.
He said: “This is brilliant news, and it will make George Osborne the toast of Britain’s pubs, today. By deciding to freeze the tax on beer through the removal of the beer duty escalator – and then going even further by lowering duty by 1p a pint - he has moved to boost jobs in pubs, and in a way that will not hit the Treasury’s bottom line.
“It is a boost for pub goers and recognises the Government's support for local community pubs and brewing; a key UK manufacturing sector. It will allow the industry to invest, save 2,000 jobs in this year alone, create new jobs, and contribute to economic growth.
“Under the previous ‘inflation +2%’ duty escalator, we would have been looking at a 5% rise in duty on a pint today but as a result of this announcement there will instead be a 2% fall. It will come as a very welcome relief for all those who enjoy a pint and for landlords who have been working so hard to maintain their businesses and retain jobs whilst buffeted by the economic downturn and previous duty increases.”
3.45 PM UPDATE:
"It's the very least they could do"
3.40 PM UPDATE:
Budget: the key points. Read more about beer duty rise scrapped and help for home-owners.
3.35 PM UPDATE:
WEST Cornwall MP Andrew George has welcomed news in today's budget that lower paid workers will benefit from a new tax threshold.
Reacting to the announcement that the personal allowance will be increased by £560 to £10,000 by 2014-15, the Liberal Democrat politician said it was important to support the lowest paid members of society.
West Cornwall MP Andrew George welcomed the new tax threshold.
He said: "We have always believed that the priority should be cutting taxes for working people and lifting the poorest out of paying Income Tax altogether," he said. "This was our top priority at the General Election and I am delighted that the threshold has now been raised to £10,000."
3.30 PM UPDATE:
Commenting about the Chancellor's plans to raise the income tax threshold to £10,000, Councillor Judy Davidson MBE, Mayor of Redruth, said: “Anything that stops very low earning families and pensioners from having to pay tax and gives them more money to spend has to be a good thing.”
Councillor Jean Charman, Mayor of Camborne, said: “It’s a gesture. It shows that the Government recognises that there’s a great deal of poverty in the country. Figures show that in Camborne 48 per cent of children are living in poverty and that’s clearly something that needs attending to. I think the Government is beginning to realise that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing.”
3.10 PM UPDATE:
Working Mum Hanna Toms today slammed the Conservative budget as 'totally useless for families who have lost out again and again over the past three years'.
Hanna said: "Like many other working mothers, I lose out on council tax rebate, housing benefit cut, the uprating of child and working families tax credit. The extra money for childcare does not come in until 2015 and it won't help many people in Cornwall anyway as it is only for the better off.
"It is a real problem for so many families here, where wages are low and housing costs high."
Jude Robinson, Labour Councillor in Camborne North said: "There is a tax cut for people on high incomes, but less support for families. There is help for people who can afford a mortgage but nothing for people on low incomes in desperate need of a decent home to rent.
"I'm getting calls from people who have also lost their council tax rebate because of more government cuts and they wondering how they are going to manage."
"Growth forecasts for this year have been halved, borrowing is going up and up, so the austerity plan is not working but people in Cornwall are paying the price."
3 PM UPDATE:
Kernow Property Services have reacted positively to the Chancellor's plans to help families onto the property ladder.
Andrew Berry, managing director of Kernow Property Services said: “The Help to Buy Scheme announced by the Chancellor in the 2013 budget announcement today is good news for home owners and people looking to get on the property ladder.
“For a long time we have seen people struggle to secure mortgages and therefore there has been limited movement in the property market. During the past three years we have seen things improve steadily and I believe that the new scheme will help the market recover and gain stability.
“The two strands of the Help To Buy Scheme show that there is going to be help for all homeowners, not just first time buyers. This is vital as it’s not just first time buyers who have struggled to secure mortgages to buy, it’s for anyone who does not have substantial funds available for a deposit.
“The shared equity loan scheme has proven to be successful in helping first time buyers to buy their first property by offering a 20% loan for deposits. It’s great that this scheme is now open to anyone, no matter what their stage of life, when buying a house below the value of £600,000.
“The shared equity loan scheme means that buyers only have to put down a 5% deposit and they will then be supported by a 20% loan, which is interest free for five years and repayable when the property is sold. This scheme should stimulate the market and enable people, who have previously struggled to buy a house because they did not have the deposit required, move up the property ladder.
“The second strand for mortgage guarantees means that more mortgages should become available to anyone seeking to secure a mortgage, as lenders will be less worried as they are government backed.
“With the introduction of this in 2014 I expect to see many more people moving, as lenders are more open to providing the facility for home owners to do.
“In my opinion, the help to buy scheme will help to stimulate growth and movement within the market and should, over the course of the next few years, help to bring the market back to a buoyant position.”
2.20 PM UPDATE:
Chancellor George Osborne announced that he will scrap the controversial beer tax escalator as well as 1p from the cost of a pint, a two per cent drop in duty. Duty on other alcohol will not be cut.
The announcement, which has been hailed as a 'momentous day for British beer drinkers' has also been welcomed by a Penzance publican.
"It is about time they did this," said Michelle Dunkley of The Crown.
"We sell more beer than anything else so that is good news but everything else is still going up"...
2.10 PM UPDATE:
Chancellor George Osborne said the government would support parents with 20 per cent of their childcare costs up to £1,200 per child per year.
West Cornwall childcare professionals and parents cautiously welcomed the proposals but wanted to know how the scheme would work in practice.
Moves to slash the spiralling cost of childcare will see working parents earning up to £150,000 each get tax breaks worth as much as £1,200 a year per child.
It will only apply to couples where both parents are working, or single parents who are employed. The scheme will be phased in from 2015 – the year of the general election.
Estimates suggest that 18,258 families in Cornwall could benefit...
12.10 PM UPDATE:
Follow the budget live via the blog below:
11.14 AM UPDATE: Chancellor George Osborne poses for photos outside number 11 with the famous red briefcase containing details of this year's budget.
9 AM UPDATE: We will be following the Chancellor's budget live today.
With the economy still struggling there are claims that rural areas are still being overlooked with crippling energy bills and rising unemployment.
In Cornwall the total number of people claiming Job Seekers' Allowance rose from 9,955 in December 2012 to 10,609 in January 2013.
Fuel has risen steadily with recent figures showing the poorest households spend a third of their disposable income on transport costs, including running a car.
With that in mind we've mapped the cheapest places to buy petrol in the county (as of March 18th) nearest to Bodmin, Truro and Penzance, according to www.petrolprices.com, below:
Cheapest petrol prices within 20 miles of Bodmin as of March 18th:
View Cheap Petrol Bodmin in a larger map
Cheapest petrol prices within 20 miles of Truro as of March 18th:
View Cheap Petrol Truro in a larger map
Cheapest petrol prices within 15 miles of Penzance as of March 18th:
View Cheap Petrol Penzance in a larger map
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