A brief guide to the Budget

This year's government Budget is later than usual because of the current economic climate and will be released on the 22nd April. But what does it all mean? Is it just the government spending on big things that don't really impact our everyday lives? Not at all. Every single person who lives in the UK should be aware of how the government plans to use taxpayers' money.

The three taxes that increase every year without fail and are a popular topic of conversation are for petrol, alcohol and cigarettes. It's pretty much always bad news for drinkers, smokers and drivers - last year Alistair Darling put 4p on a pint of beer, 14p on a bottle of wine and 55p on a bottle of spirits. He also raised duty on a packet of cigarettes by 11p and made an increase of 2p on petrol duty that was introduced in October. The government are keen to discourage drinking alcohol and smoking and they also want to be seen to be helping the environment by taxing fuel. In the same vein, there is talk this year of introducing incentives for people who scrap or trade in their old polluting bangers for something greener. Last year's Budget's environmental bid was to include charges for retailers who did not attempt to reduce their plastic bag usage. It's a very noble idea but many people feel that environmental needs are not addressed nearly enough and others think that fixing the current crisis should come first before spending on green matters.

The Budget also affects benefits and tax credits, so it is really important to people with young children and recipients of disability, housing and other benefits. Pensioners are affected by changes to winter fuel allowances and small business owners can be affected greatly by changes to capital gains tax and small business loans. Other areas covered by the Budget are flight taxes, stamp duty, savings, education and the economy in general. If this year's Budget is successful, it could mean bringing an end to the current recession sooner rather than later. To see how it will affect your wallet, search for online Budget calculators and for more detailed articles check out AOL Money.

Do you think the Budget addresses the right issues or do you find it unfair? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

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