George Osborne certainly pulled some unexpected rabbits from the hat in his last Budget before the general election.
In last year’s Budget, savers and those people approaching retirement were the main winners. Today’s Budget announced changes which will further benefit both groups, whilst there is also big news for existing pensioners and first time buyers.
So, who are the winners and who lost out?
We reveal all.
First time buyers
It seems the Chancellor likes major surprises, last year it was ‘Pensions Freedom’ this year it’s the ‘Help to Buy’ ISA, designed to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder.
Although the details are sketchy at the moment, George Osborne announced that the Government will top up every £200 of savings with £50.
Although there will be concerns this will fuel a ‘housing bubble’ it will undoubtedly be welcomed by first time buyers.
Existing pensioners could have been forgiven for casting a jealous eye towards those people who have not yet retired and will benefit from the ‘Pensions Freedom’ announced in the 2014 Budget.
However, George Osborne has announced that from 2016 those people who bought an Annuity with their pension pot will be able to trade it in for a lump sum.
Again, more details are needed and experts are already warning pensioners that they should think carefully and take independent advice before any decisions are made.
One of the problems with ISAs is that once money is taken out, it can’t be put back.
However, George Osborne announced that the ISA rules will be changed to allow money taken out of ISAs to be repaid within the same tax-year.
Following the Budget, savers will not pay tax on the first £1,000 of interest they receive.
According to the Chancellor this means that 95% of tax-payers will no longer pay tax on their savings.
It was announced that Class Two National Insurance Contributions paid by the self-employed will be scrapped, as will the annual paper tax return.
More details are needed on both measures to confirm the extent of the ‘win’ for people who are self-employed.
(Some) pension savers
The Chancellor announced plans to reduce the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) from £1.25 million to £1 million.
This won’t affect pension savers with smaller pots, but those with larger funds, or who will build up larger pensions will definitely be affected and could be left with unexpected tax bills.
Mr Osborne announced that £12 billion will be saved in welfare payments, which will undoubtedly affect a range of benefits.
Although there will be little sympathy for the UK’s banks, they are still losers from today’s Budget; the bank levy will be increased by 0.21% raising £900 million. Furthermore banks will no longer be able to offset PPI compensation pay-outs against profits to reduce their corporation tax bills.
Were you a winner or a loser?
We’d love to hear what you think about the Budget, were you a winner or a loser? Are the breaks given to savers long overdue? Can people be trusted with their pension pot?
Why not leave us a comment below?
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