George Osborne made his final pitch to voters with a handout to savers and first time buyers as he declared Britain could finally “walk tall again” after the years of austerity.
In his final Budget before the general election, the Chancellor announced a new personal allowance which would mean 95% of all savers savers would pay no tax on their savings.
And he said that he was creating a new help-to-buy ISA which would see the Government add £50 to every £200 first-time buyers put away towards a deposit.
He confirmed tax cuts via a rise in personal allowances, cut beer, cider and spirit duties, and again scrapped the fuel duty rise.
And the chancellor said the “the sun is starting to shine” as he said the period of austerity would end a year earlier than forecast.
But Labour leader Ed Miliband, responding to the Budget speech, said there had never been such a large gap between the Chancellor’s rhetoric and the reality of people’s lives.
He condemned Mr Osborne for failing to mention investment in the NHS or public services.
And he told MPs: “This is a Budget people won’t believe from a Government that is not on their side – because of their record, because of their instinct, because of their plans for the future.”
Here are the winners and losers from the Budget 2015:
North Sea oil and gas industry – £1.3billion of support through 15% cut in petroleum revenue tax and 10% cut in supplementary charge.
Scotch whisky sector – duty cut by 2%.
Beer drinkers – 1p cut from price of a pint for third year in a row, and cuts 2p from cider.
Aberdonians and Invernessians – City Deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds agreed in principle for Aberdeen and Inverness, to be signed off this year.
Drivers – September fuel duty rise cancelled.
Taxpayers- personal tax-free allowance to rise to £11,000.
Savers – changes to make ISAs more flexible.
Pensioners – relaxing pension rules allow existing pensioners to swap their fixed annual payments for cash.
Low paid workers – minimum wage to rise to £6.70, with aim to hit £8 within five years.
Farmers – average income figures for tax purposes to be extended to five years.
Local newspapers – consultation on tax breaks.
Benefits claimants – £12billion more cuts to welfare.
Government departments – Another £13billion to be slashed from spending.
Banks – A further £5.3billion to raised from levies.
Tax evaders – £3.1billion to be raised from crackdown and new criminal sanctions.