Commenting on the 2014 budget set out this week, Simon Hughes, Member of Parliament for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, said:
“There was much announced in the Budget today that Liberal Democrats have been fighting hard for, and that will directly benefit families and individuals living across Bermondsey and Southwark.
I am proud that in government Liberal Democrats have helped to deliver a fair budget for people living in Bermondsey and Southwark. These are my top twelve announcements:
- We will increase the personal tax allowance to £10,500 in April 2015 which will give millions of tax payers another £100 tax cut taking the total tax cut in 2015 to £800.
- We will give people control over the money they have saved in their pension ‘pots’ by removing the need for people to be tied into buying annuities. This work has been pioneered by Lib Dem Pensions Minister Steve Webb. It’s the biggest shake up in pensions in almost 100 years.
- We’ve reduced tax on savings for people on low incomes and increased the levels and flexibility on ISAs.
- Frozen duty on spirits to help the Scotch Whisky industry; cut Beer duty by 1p; frozen duty on cider; and abolished the above inflation escalator on wine.
- Cut Bingo duty from 20% to 10% but increased duty on fixed odds betting terminals.
- Launched more measures to clamp down on tax avoidance, including new measures to force tax avoiders to pay their taxes up front just like everyone else.
- Doubled the number of £1 Million prizes on premium bonds and raised the holding limit from £30,000 to £40,000 with plans to go to £50,000.
- Doubled the amount of money that companies can set off against tax for investing in new equipment to £500,000.
- We are increasing the level of financial support for exporters to equal/become the most competitive in Europe.
- We are extending the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme and setting up a fund of £500 Million to help SME’s in the house building sector.
- We will provide £20 million for a grant scheme for repairs to cathedrals.
- We will establish a £150 million regeneration fund for large housing estates such as the Aylesbury Estate.
It was also great to hear that the independent Office of Budget Responsibility has revised its growth forecast up to 2.7% for 2014, and revised its employment forecast up to 31.4million – a record number!”