Feeds

Pre-election budget targets politics, not policy

But bad news for trampagne drinkers, Darling?

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.