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Annie Hayes

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Pre-Budget: Live report

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Budget 2004
Live Report as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, delivers his Budget statement.

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# UK has been tested by both domestic and global pressures.

# On course to meeting inflation target of 2%.

# House prices moderated to 3%.

# Inflation lower than the US and the EU and on course to meet inflation target this year, next year and the year after.

# 34th continued quarter of growth. Growth this year would be 1.75%. Forecast growth would be 2-2.5% in 2006 and 2.75-3.25% in 2007 and 2008.

# 5th successive year of growth – higher than European Union. Business investment will increase by 3%.

# Exports to increase by 5% this year and next. Overall growth 2-2.5% this year.

# Employment risen by 330,000 to 28.8 million.

# Network of innovation centres supported by a national headquarters in London

# New Deal- training wage for teenagers in eight regions. Pilots extended

# Doubled investment in education

# New planning guidelines to bridge the gap between housebuilding and housing needs. Local Authorities obliged to speed up planning consent.

# Government will set up Real Estate Investment Tusts

# Pilot projects to encourage LAs to bring derelict land back into use

# Share equity plans extended

# Flexible VAT payments for small businesses

# On target with civil service reductions and relocations

# Rise in investment allowances for smaller business of up to 50%

# New Film tax credit worth 16% for large budget films and 20% for small budget films

# Extension of anti-avoidance disclosures

# Record public investment

# Budget deficit would fall from £19 billion last year to £10 billion this year and £4 billion next year, before the books were balanced and there began to be surpluses.

# Debt levels lower than major competitors, borrowing lower than competitors. Net borrowing in 2005/6 34 billion – equivalent to 2.2% of GDP, falling to 1.6% in 2006/7 and 1.4% over the coming years

# Sustainable investment rule met

# £135 million allocated for security and counter terrorism

# Tax credits. From next year will allow annual income changes of up to £25,000.

# NCD

# Enhanced capital allowances for production of biofuels

# Further funding for Carbon Trust

# Winter payment increased to £200 for rest of labour government and £300 for the over 80s. More help for pensioners with insulation and energy saving.

# Petrol and diesel charges frozen for entire year

# Extra £305 million to help with council tax.

# Unclaimed assets in bank accounts will go to help youth and community facilities. New national youth community service to fund gap years for youngsters who could not otherwise afford it

# Creation of national sports foundation.

For more on the Pre-Budget Report see: AccountingWEB



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Annie Hayes

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