Budget 2010: an outline summary

The key points of the Budget.

Business and personal taxes

Stamp duty land tax threshold for first-time buyers to rise to £250,000 and to be funded by a stamp duty land tax charge of 5 per cent on residential property sales worth £1 million or more

The fuel duty increase, planned for next month, is to be phased at 1p in April, followed by 1p in October and the remainder in January 2011

National Insurance Contributions increase of 1 per cent confirmed for April 2011, although the threshold for NI payments is to rise so that nobody earning less than £20,000 will face extra charges

The top rate of income tax at 50 per cent for those earning £150,000 or more is confirmed for April 2010, along with the gradual removal of personal allowances for those earning over £100,000

No change to VAT

Inheritance tax threshold to be frozen at £325,000 for the next four years

Business rates are to be cut from October for one year, meaning that 345,000 small firms will pay no business rates at all

Annual investment allowance for small firms to be doubled to £100,000

Threshold for relief on capital gains tax for entrepreneurs to be doubled

No increase in capital gains tax rates

Additional tax avoidance measures to net £500 million in revenues

Duty on cider to increase by 10 per cent from 29 March; wine, beer and spirits by 2 per cent from 29 March

Business support

State-owned banks (RBS and Lloyds) to provide £105 billion of loans, £41 billion to SMEs

A new credit adjudicator to fast track complaints from small firms that believe they have been unfairly refused credit

New national investment corporation - UK Finance for Growth - to oversee the government's £4 billion portfolio of business support funds

New growth capital fund worth £500 million to help fast-growing SMEs

Plans to increase by 15 per cent the number of central government contracts that are awarded to SMEs

Time to pay scheme, which allows firms to agree extra timetables for settling tax bills, to be extended for whole of the next parliament

Infrastructure and environment

£100 million set aside for road repairs and £285 million for improvements to motorways

Investment bank to be set up, controlling £2 billion of equity, to support investment in green projects and industries

Innovation, skills and training

A £35 million University Enterprise Capital Fund to strengthen links between university innovation and the commercial development of those innovations by spin-off companies

One-off £270 million payment to universities to help provide 20,000 more places for students studying science, mathematics and engineering

Economy

The economy contracted by 6 per cent over the recession

The Chancellor predicted that growth for 2010 would be between 1 per cent and 1.5 per cent, in line with forecasts, but revised his prediction for 2011 down to a growth rate of between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent

The government's target figure for inflation is to remain at 2 per cent

Government finances

On the back of better than expected tax receipts and with spending in line with forecasts, the Chancellor announced that government borrowing will be £167 billion this year, £11 billion less than the previous estimate

For future years, the Chancellor predicted borrowing would stand at £163 billion in 2011, £131 billion in 2011/2012 and £110 billion in 2013/14, before reaching £74 billion in 2014/15

The reduction in the budget deficit will halve - from 11.8 per cent of GDP to 5.2 per cent - over a four-year period

The Chancellor added that the structural deficit will fall by two-thirds by the end of the next parliament

Government spending

Public sector pay settlements to be held at a maximum of 1 per cent for two years from 2011

Government departments to make £11 billion worth of efficiency savings

The Chancellor said that spending would increase in real terms by 2.2 per cent next year as already planned but that the next spending settlement, from 2011 onwards, would be the "toughest for decades".

Employment

The amount of time that the over-65s have to work in order to qualify for tax credits is to be reduced

The youth employment guarantee scheme, which ensures that anyone aged under 24 will get either a job or training once they have been unemployed for six months, is to be extended to March 2012

Savings

Plans are to be put in place to ensure that up to 1 million more people will have access to basic bank accounts in the next five years

The limits on ISAs are to increase annually in line with inflation

Tax credits and allowances

Parents of one- and two-year-old children to receive an increase of £4 a week in child tax credits from 2012

Pensioners' higher winter fuel payments of £250 and £400 for the over-80s to remain for another year