#Budget2016: 10 trending topics on Twitter

By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

17 March 2016

Eleanor O'Neill rounds up some of the Twitter reactions to key Budget announcements.

1. (L)ISA

The Chancellor has announced the introduction of a Lifetime ISA for adults under 40. From April 2017, up to £4,000 can be paid in annually and will be topped up by a government bonus of 25%.  Funds in the ISA will have to be used for buying a first home or as a retirement fund – it is intended as a helping hand for young people.  However some tweeters accused Mr Osborne of missing the real issue.

2. Sugary drinks down the sink

Soft drinks companies will pay a levy on drinks with added sugar from April 2018.

This will apply to drinks with total sugar content above 5 grams per 100 millilitres, with a higher rate for more than 8 grams per 100 millilitres. There are exemptions for milk-based drinks or fruit juices but these are likely to raise some interesting questions

3. UK taxes for UK profits

Following recent publicity around tax paid in the UK by multinational companies there were a number of measures affecting these large companies.   One of these was a cap on relief for interest payments of 30% of UK taxable earnings. There were also measures on hybrid mismatches and cross border royalty payments.

4. Increase of income kept in-pocket

The Personal Allowance, already rising to £11,000 for 2016-17, will increase again from April 2017 to £11,500.

The point at which people start paying the higher rate of tax (40%) was £42,385 for 2015/16. It is £43,000 for 2016/17. It will be raised to £45,000 from April 2017.

5. Self-employed national insurance

Class 2 NI contributions for self-employed workers are set to be scrapped from 2018. This will mean simplification for many of the self-employed but some additional reform will be required to address benefit entitlements.

6. Capital gains tax

In a surprise move the Chancellor announced that CGT rates would be reduced for gains accruing on or after 6 April 2016.

The rates will move from 18% to 10% for gains up to the basic rate income tax limit and from 28% to 20% for gains above the limit. However, some gains will be excluded – those accruing on the disposal of residential property (that does not qualify for private residence relief) and carried interest.

7. Life-raft for the North Sea

Significant tax support has been extended to the oil and gas industry to help bolster the North Sea economy – currently suffering from low oil prices.

The Petroleum Revenue Tax has been effectively abolished and the supplementary charge on oil and gas extractions has been dramatically reduced from 20% to 10%.

8. Corporation tax reduction

The government had already committed to reducing the corporation tax rate to 18% but has now taken this further by reducing the rate to 17% by April 2020. This will make the UK rate the lowest among the G20 nations.

9. Evolution in education

Education reforms and funding played a key part in the Budget with 25% of secondary schools being given longer days in 2017 and every school converting to an academy by 2022.

£500 million has been put toward a new ‘fair funding formula’ to address imbalances in the system with 90% of schools benefitting by the end of Parliament.

10. Talking transport

The £80 million Crossrail 2 project, which will create a connecting route between South-West and North-East London, has been given the go-ahead and should reduce congestion in Victoria and Waterloo stations.

Other plans for a £60 million investment in the HS3 between Leeds and Manchester have been met with some scepticism.

Image credit: Bloomua / Shutterstock.com


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