Earlier this month, George Osborne, gave his sixth budget speech with the chancellor’s new sugar tax dominating the headlines. This tax sees the Government take on the fizzy drinks industry in a bid to tackle growing issues around childhood and adult obesity.
The projected 520m from the tax will be put towards increasing funding for sports at school.
Of course, the news was bitter sweet (pun intended) for parents, as while the tax will help improve children’s health (hurrah!), it does mean that our beloved gin and tonics will also increase in price (sob!). At least Prosecco is safe (for now)…
But beyond the sugar levy, what else does budget mean for your family’s personal finance?
Prior to the budget, the free credit checking company, Noddle, surveyed 1000 of its 2m customers to find out what British people would most like to see for themselves from the budget.
We want the Govt to tackle our 3 P’s –Petrol prices, Pensions and Pay before tax (aka our tax free personal allowance).
Petrol prices are a big issue for this family too. Luckily both Peter and I work from home but with runs to the supermarket and after school activities, the costs mount up.
As you can imagine, public transport in the Yorkshire countryside is less than ideal (especially with kids!) so our car is an essential.
Plus, rather than always travelling abroad, we are keen ‘stay-caters’, regularly exploring our wonderful country by car.
The good news for families is that the chancellor delivered a freeze in fuel duty, while the personal tax free allowance will increase to £11,500 in April 2017 instead of £11,200 as had been originally planned.
Similarly, the threshold for the higher 40pc rate will jump to £45,000 in April 2017 and self-employed folk will also benefit as the rate at which you pay national insurance contributions increases from £5,965 to £8,060 per year.
Another issue I hold close to my heart is our beloved NHS and I would like to see extra funding for this strained but vital organisation.
This notion naturally chimes with the rest of the nation too as the Noddle survey reveals that two thirds of people want to see more investment for the NHS, while 74% want to see greater enforcement of taxes on big business by the Government.
From Osborne’s speech, it appears that tax-avoiding big businesses are firmly in the Govt’s crosshairs with news of a clamp down on multinational tax avoidance which is expected to raise £9bn over the next 6 years. Only time will tell how effective this will actually be…
However, disappointingly there was no mention of the NHS in the chancellor’s speech and it was later revealed that the NHS would be £650m a year worse off as a result of the chancellor’s policies hidden in the small print.
One thing was clear from the chancellor’s budget is that although the UK economy is currently growing, these are still turbulent economic times with threats from a weakening global economy and volatile international financial markets.
As we saw in 2008, it only took America to sneeze for the world to catch its cold and today we face similar uncertainty with the Chinese financial markets.
In times of uncertainty, it is crucial that we are certain about our own personal finances, which is where Noddle comes in.
By signing up for its free credit rating checker and report you can gain a thorough understanding of your own personal finances, how you can improve them and closely monitor any fraudulent activity.
This means that you can make informed and better decisions about your money.
Oh and did I mention it’s completely free? Yes that’s right! No hidden charges or fees and no 30 day trials either!
To find out more about Noddle head over to their website.
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