Feeds

Pre-election budget targets politics, not policy

But bad news for trampagne drinkers, Darling?

Security for virtualized datacentres

Budget In a budget lacking the traditional pre-election giveaway, the chancellor dedicated much of his speech to congratulating himself on measures taken in the last two years to mitigate the impact of recession and bail out the financial sector.

The most significant tax change is to stamp duty, which will rise to five per cent for properties over a million pounds, to fund an accompanying rise in the threshold. From midnight tonight there will be no stamp duty on properties worth up to £250,000 for first time buyers, double the current threshold.

Business rates will also be cut for a year from October in a move to help small businesses. The annual investment allowance will also be doubled to £100,000.

Meanwhile the three per cent annual rise in fuel duty will be staged this year, with only a one per cent rise before the election.

There will be no more changes to income tax, national insurance or VAT before the election.

Darling declined to give details of spending cuts Labour plans in areas such as health and education, saying only that the post-election settlement would be "the toughest for decades". Small cuts announced in the pre-budget report, including to the NHS IT system, will go ahead, he confirmed.

He however reaffirmed Labour's aim to halve the budget deficit - £167bn this year - by 2014.

The chancellor primarily sought to draw a battle lines between the two main parties over the timing of cuts, saying Tory plans to wield the axe within 50 days of an election victory would be "both wrong and dangerous".

Things will get tougher for cider drinkers as soon as Sunday however, as there will be a 10 per cent rise in duty above inflation. The full speech is available here.

David Cameron described Darling's plans to halve the budget deficit by 2014 as "completely inadequate". The Tories have also avoided specific announcements about cuts to key areas of public spending ahead of the election. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.