Budget 2015: The winners and losers

Will you benefit from Osborne's announcements today: or do you stand to lose out?

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Britain Budget

George Osborne's approach has always been to give with one hand - and take away with the other. It gives him an opportunity to flourish and reveal, reward and reform, while still holding firm to his much loved 'long term economic plan'. It means that while each Budget there are some people who are left better off, others are counting the cost. We reveal this Budget's winners and losers:

Winners

Savers
This was Osborne's rabbit out of the hat. Savers have waited forever for good news, and finally there's a bit of relief.

Most importantly there will be no tax at all on the first £1,000 interest you make on your savings, which means for 17 million people (and 95% of savers) there will be no tax charged on their interest. For higher rate taxpayers, tax-free interest is capped at £500 year. This is a huge boon for savers.

ISAs will be made more flexible. At the moment, if you put money into an ISA and then withdraw some of it, you lose that bit of your annual tax-free allowance. In future, if you take the money out - but get it back in before the end of the tax year - it'll stay tax free. This will come in this autumn.

Osborne also said that there will be more flexibility on the assets you can put in an ISA, but we will have to wait for the detail to see what will be included.

First Time Buyers
Osborne's other rabbit was a new Help to Buy ISA - where the government will top up savings to help first time buyers save for a deposit. The idea is that for every £200 they squirrel away, the government will add another £50. So if you need a deposit of £15,000, you can use the ISA to save £12,000 and the government will top it up with the other £3,000. This will be launched in the autumn, although Osborne has said he will take steps to ensure people can start saving for it right now.

Lower earners
The personal tax allowance will be increased from £10,600 (which comes in this April) to £10,800 next April and £11,000 the year after. This was announced as a tax cut for 27 million people, and sees 4 million taken out of tax altogether since the allowance first started rising.

Higher earners
They had a few blows elsewhere, but higher earners will be pleased to hear that finally the threshold at which higher rate tax kicks in is going to go up - in 2017-18 it will rise to £43,300

Pensioners
As expected, Osborne announced that pensioners who have already bought their annuity will be able to sell it back for a cash lump sum. They will pay tax at their marginal rate, and the government is consulting on offering guidance for those who could take advantage.

Self-employed
The news had already been leaked that self-assessment will be abolished, and replaced by personal tax accounts. These will be automatically updated with information, to save the hell of the annual tax return. Osborne promised that the new approach will mean that businesses will feel like they are paying a single simple business tax.

Widows
As announced earlier this week. The widows of servicemen and fire fighters who died in the course of duty will no longer lose their survivor's pension if they remarry.

Businesses
Osborne announced a raft of investment for businesses, including new business infrastructure. However, firms will be particularly interested in the plan to review the whole structure of business rates, which Osborne says needs 'far reaching reform'.

Drinkers
There were a range of duty cuts announced, including beer duty - which is cut by a penny on the pint for the third year in a row. Cider duty is also down 2%, as is the duty on Scotch, while wine duty is frozen.

Drivers
The fuel duty rise scheduled for September will be cancelled - which is the longest that fuel duty has been frozen for in the past 20 years.

Losers

The wealthy
Those who want to save more for their pension will have been dealt a blow by the reduction of the lifetime allowance from £1.2 million to £1 million. The Chancellor insisted that this will only affect 4% of people approaching retirement, and that from 2018 this allowance will rise with inflation - but for those who have planned early and saved hard, this will be a blow.

Tax avoiders
There was plenty more clamping down on avoidance, including the Diversified Profits Tax - which will stop multinationals from avoiding tax on the money they make in the UK.

For individuals, a variety of schemes were mentioned for a clampdown, including those that try to exploit entrepreneurs' tax relief and those who try to take advantage of tax relief on business travel and expenses.

Disorganised families
The only change to inheritance tax Osborne announced was a review of deeds of variation. These are agreed by families after the death of a loved one, where the will is varied (as long as all the beneficiaries are in agreement on it) in order to reduce the tax payable on the estate.

This was famously used by the Miliband family, and therefore provided quite a laugh for the MPs. For those who don't sort out their will in the most tax efficient way, it could be less of a laughing matter.

Banks
The banks will foot the bill for the giveaways elsewhere in the Budget. By increasing the levy and stopping banks from offsetting the compensation they are paying customers from their corporation tax bill, Osborne is squeezing another £5.3 billion from the banks.

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