This year’s Budget and the key areas of change.

A summary of the budget.

Income Tax

No personal tax increases

Personal allowance will rise by a further £630 to £8,015 in April 2012

The government will consult on a long term plan to merge Income Tax and National Insurance

The 50% top rate of tax will remain in place; however a review of its effectiveness will take place

Council tax

Council tax will be reduced or at least frozen for every English council this year

Other taxes

Those people who leave 10% of their estate to charity will receive a 10% inheritance tax discount

The proposed rise in air passenger duty will be frozen this year

Users of private jets will be forced to pay duty

A levy of up to £50,000 will be applied to ‘non doms’ who have been resident in the UK for 12 years or more

The administration of gift aid will be reformed

Business

Corporation tax will be cut by 2% in April this year, not by the 1% that had previously been announced. It will be reduced by a further 1% for each of the next three years taking it to 23%

The bank levy will be altered to ensure that banks do not pay less tax as a result

43 tax reliefs will be scrapped as part of a simplification of the system

There will be a freeze on new regulations for firms with less than 10 years

New rules will be introduced to require planners to prioritise growth and jobs when making decisions

21 ‘enterprise zones’ to be created in England

An extra 40,000 apprenticeships will be created for young people and there will be additional funding for 100,000 new work experience placements

The new Green Investment Bank, due to launch in 2012, will receive an extra £2bn of funding

Entrepreneur’s relief will be doubled from £5m to £10m

Pensions

The government accepts the findings of the Hutton review of public sector pension contributions

The long term aim of a flat rate State Pension of £140 per week will not apply to current pensioners

The government is also going to devise a way in which the state pension age rises automatically in line with increases in longevity

Fuel and road users

Duty to be cut by 1p per litre from 18.00 GMT today

Annual 1p above inflation fuel escalator to be scrapped until 2015

These measures will be paid for by £2bn of extra taxes on North Sea oil

VAT on fuel will remain the same

Road tax will rise in line with inflation; however it will be frozen for HGVs

Cigarette and alcohol duties

No additional changes to duty on alcohol have been announced

Rates of duty on tobacco will rise by 2% above inflation

Housing

A government backed shared equity scheme will be introduced to help 10,000 first time buyers to purchase homes