Budget 2016: Live blog

14: 24 : Here's George Osborne's speech in full....


13: 59:  Corbyn on Osborne/Budget: "It's a recovery built on sand on a Budget of failure... failed on the budget deficit, failed on debt, failed on investment, failed on productivity, failed on trade deficit, failed on the welfare cap, failed to tackle inequality in this country."

13:.54: Corbyn: "Growth is revised down last year, this year and every year that's forecast - business investment is revised down, government investment revised down."

Well, lots to take in there from Osborne. Here a summary of the key announcements:


The UK economy is now expected to grow 2% this year, down sharply from a previous expectation for 2.4%, according to the government’s independent forecasters, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

A further £3.5 billion of savings from departmental spending in 2019-20, There will be an efficiency review to inform future spending decisions.

Levy on soft drinks

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.

Secondary schools

25% of secondary schools will be able to opt in to a longer school day from September 2017 so that they can offer a wider range of activities for pupils.

Every school will be an academy by 2022

By the end of 2020, every school in England will be an academy or free school – or be in the process of becoming one.

The current system for funding schools will also be replaced by a national funding formula from April 2017. There will be £20 million a year in additional money for schools in the north of England.

Lifetime ISA: a new £4,000 ISA

From April 2017, any adult under 40 will be able to open a new Lifetime ISA. Up to £4,000 can be saved each year and savers will receive a 25% bonus from the government on this money.

The total amount you can save each year into all ISAs will also be increased from £15,240 to £20,000 from April 2017.

The Personal Allowance will increase to £11,500, and the higher rate threshold will rise to £45,000 in April 2017

This is currently £10,600 – it will already rise to £11,000 in 2016, and will now increase further to £11,500 in April 2017.

The point at which you pay the higher rate of Income Tax will increase from £42,385 to £43,000 in 2016 and to £45,000 in April 2017.

HS3 between Leeds and Manchester

£60 million has been announced to develop plans to cut journey times to around 30 minutes between Leeds and Manchester, as well as improving transport connections between other cities in the north.

£80 million to give Crossrail 2 the go-ahead

This will be used to continue planning for Crossrail 2. The proposed Crossrail 2 route will connect South-West and North-East London, increase tube capacity and reduce the pressure on Victoria and Waterloo stations.

New tax allowances for money earned from the sharing economy

From April 2017, there will be two new tax-free £1,000 allowances – one for selling goods or providing services, and one income from property you own.

People who make up to £1,000 from occasional jobs – such as sharing power tools, providing a lift share or selling goods they have made – will no longer need to pay tax on that income.

In the same way, the first £1,000 of income from property – such as renting a driveway or loft storage – will be tax free.

Freezing beer duty

Duty rates on beer, spirits and most ciders frozen.

Fuel duty frozen again in 2016-17

Fuel duty will be frozen again in 2017-17. By the end of 2016-17 fuel duty will have been frozen for 6 years.

Making sure large companies can’t artificially shift profits out of the UK

Some large companies use excessive interest payments to reduce the tax they pay on their profits in the UK. Relief on interest payments will now be capped at 30% of UK earnings, with exceptions for groups with legitimately high interest payments.

Over the next five years, the government will raise nearly £8 billion from large companies and multinationals through changes to the rules on interest and other measures, including:

  • introducing rules to prevent multinational companies avoid paying tax in any of the countries they do business in, a technique called hybrid mismatches

  • taxing outbound royalty payments better – these are fees for using intellectual property like patents and copyrights – meaning multinationals pay more tax in the UK

  • making sure offshore property developers are taxed on their UK profits

Tax support worth £1 billion for the oil and gas industry

This includes effectively abolishing Petroleum Revenue Tax (a tax on profits from oil fields approved before 1993) and reducing the supplementary charge on oil and gas extraction.

Cutting business rates for all rate payers

From April 2017, small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will pay no business rates.

Currently, this 100% relief is available if you’re a business that occupies a property (e.g. a shop or office) with a value of £6,000 or less.

There will be a tapered rate of relief on properties worth up to £15,000. This means that 600,000 businesses will pay no rates.

Capital Gains Tax rates will be cut from 6 April 2016

From April 2016, the higher rate of Capital Gains Tax will be cut from 28% to 20% and the basic rate from 18% to 10%.

There will be an additional eight percentage point surcharge to be paid on residential property and carried interest (the share of profits or gains that is paid to asset managers).

Employers will pay National Insurance on pay-offs above £30,000 from April 2018

From April 2018 employers will now need to pay National Insurance contributions on pay-offs (for example, termination payments) above £30,000 where Income Tax is also due.

For people who lose their job, payments up to £30,000 will remain tax-free and they will not need to pay National Insurance on any of the payment.

Corporation Tax will be cut to 17% in 2020

The main rate of Corporation Tax has been cut from 28% in 2010 to 20%. It will now be cut again to 17% in 2020, benefitting over 1 million businesses.

Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) for self-employed people will be scrapped from April 2018

Currently, self-employed people have to pay Class 2 NICs at £2.80 per week if they make a profit of £5,965 or over per year. They also pay Class 4 NICs if their profits are over £8,060 per year.

From April 2018, they will only need to pay one type of National Insurance on their profits, Class 4 NICs.

Paying Class 2 NICs currently enables self-employed people to build entitlement to the State Pension and other contributory benefits.

After April 2018, Class 4 NICs will also be reformed so self-employed people can continue to build benefit entitlement.

New stamp duty rates for commercial property from 17 March 2016

The way stamp duty on freehold commercial property and leasehold premium transactions is calculated will change. Currently, these rates apply to the whole transaction value. From 17 March 2016 the rates will apply to the value of the property over each tax band.

The new rates and tax bands will be 0% for the portion of the transaction value up to £150,000; 2% between £150,001 and £250,000, and 5% above £250,000.

Buyers of commercial property worth up to £1.05 million will pay less in stamp duty.

Stamp duty rates for leasehold rent transactions will also change, with a new 2% stamp duty rate on leases with a net present value over £5 million.

More funding to protect homes and businesses from flooding

Funding for new defences including in Leeds, York, Calder Valley and Cumbria and for maintenance of existing defences.,This will be paid for by Insurance Premium Tax, a tax on insurers. The standard rate will rise from 9.5% to 10%.

13: 38: Higher rate personal tax threshold rises to £45,000

13:35: Personal Tax free allowance to raise to £11,500

13:31: Fuel tax duty frozen for the sixth year in a row

13:25: Insurance premium tax to rise by 0.5% to 10%

13:15: Northern Powerhouse: Green light for HS3 

13:06: Osborne: ..."A budget that backs small business"

13:05:  6,000 small businesses will not pay any business rates.. and 250,000 have their rates cuts from April 2017

13:03: Tax free allowance of £1,000 for online entreprenuers...

13:02: Government to reduce the rate of coporation tax to 17% by April 2020... "Britain is blazing a trail, let the rest of the world catch up," Osborne says.

12:58: Coportation tax: Roadmap for business tax regime to be introduced....

12:55 OBR is forecasting another 1 million new jobs jobs created in this parliament...

12.44: Osborne: OBR downgrades UK growth forecasts

Welcome to the Innovation into Success live Budget blog

The chancellor George Osborne is about to reveal the 2016 budget report.

Science minister Jo Johnson has already confirmed the government will protect the science resource budget of £4.7 billion, as well as continuing to invest in scientific infrastructure, committing £5.8 billion capital between now and 2021.

On proposed corporation tax cuts, Justin Arnesen, director of R&D tax and grants at Ayming, warned: "As corporation tax rates fall, so too will the net R&D tax benefit that many businesses rely on".

"This will have a negative impact on direct and indirect R&D government funding and could potentially give businesses less incentive to make an R&D claim. The gap between the benefit profit-making companies receive from making R&D claims compared to loss-making companies is already narrowing.

“If the incentives for companies to invest in R&D are less attractive then there’s a great risk that the impact of this investment will be diminished, even though the benefit of the government incentivising businesses to invest in innovation is clear. Private rates of return for R&D investment are estimated to stand at around 30 per cent.”

Stay with us to find out what other measures the chancellor will be introducing to incentivise innovation in the UK

Key topics to look out for…

  • Revising the planned dividend tax increase
  • Northern Powerhouse plans
  • Business rates reform
  • A focus on skills training and apprenticeships
  • Brexit
  • Access to finance schemes