Budget 2013: the small print

Updated: 
George Osborne"The devil is in the detail", or so the old adage goes. And that's never more true than at Budget time. Chancellor George Osborne may have spoken to Parliament for the best part of an hour, but there are usually plenty of things he didn't mention tucked away in the Budget book.

We've pored through it to see what other measures are on the horizon.


The Bank of England can let inflation go... temporarily
There was talk in the speech about the Bank of England's "new remit", but what the red book says is that the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee may "therefore wish to allow inflation to deviate from the target temporarily".

Consultation on allowing Child Trust Funds to move to Junior ISAs
The Labour Government's flagship Child Trust Fund (CTF) scheme was one of the first things scrapped by the Coalition. It introduced Junior ISAs instead. As a result, the parents of those children who had money invested in cash or stocks and shares CTF accounts have, in many cases, seen their returns fall as providers have pulled the shutters down. Meanwhile, more competitive Junior ISAs have been launched. Following a series of campaigns, the Government will now consult on allowing CTFs to be switched into Junior ISAs.

Right To Buy period
The qualifying period for council tenants who want to buy their own homes will be reduced from five years to three. The Government is pledging to replace council homes that are sold on a one-to-one basis. The Right To Buy process will also be simplified.

Social housing
Landlords of tenants in social housing who earn over £60,000 a year will be allowed to charge them market rent. Tenants will also be required to declare their income.

Broadband spending cut?
There will be a "reprofiling of funding for broadband programmes", which in plain English sounds like a cut to this plan.

Employee share scheme
The Chancellor did briefly mention in his speech that this scheme would become "more generous". The detail is that employees will not pay Income Tax and National Insurance on the first £2,000 of any shares they receive. And this scheme is due to launch in September 2013.

More Bank of Daves?
Dave Fishwick, owner of Burnley Savings and Loans and featured in the Channel 4 documentary Bank of Dave, has famously struggled to get a banking licence. The Budget book says that the "authorisation process for becoming a bank will be quicker and easier and there will be a comprehensive series of changes to the capital and liquidity rules to level the playing field for new banks". Whether that will lead to a rash of new 'challenger' banks remains to be seen.

Residential property in private pensions
The Government is to "explore" whether the conversion of unused commercial property in urban areas into homes could be helped by allowing people to add them to their Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and Small Self Administered Schemes (SSASs). Pensions experts have already warned that this could leave people's retirement incomes far too exposed to property, given many people already see their current home as part of their pension.

Budget 2013: Winners and Losers

Budget 2013: Winners and Losers

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