Sun, 28 Aug, 2016
Our news stories are also available via
Click here for further information.
Mailing List
Alert me to site
updates spacer
avoid tax, offshore tax, inheritance tax, property tax uk

Search QCK.COM

17-03-04 03:17
March 2004 Budget - Key Points


Key points from Gordon Brown's eighth Budget, which was delivered in the House of Commons on Wednesday, 17th March 2004.
Taxes and duties
    * Tax rates will be frozen on: corporation tax, capital gains tax, air passenger duties, vehicle excise duty, insurance premium tax.
    * VAT threshold for small businesses up to £58,000.
    * Stamp duty also frozen.
    * From 1st April, the zero rate of corporation tax applied to businesses with less than £10,000 of profits will rise to 19%. The zero rate will continue to apply to reinvested profits up to £10,000.
    * Venture capital trust relief extended to top rate taxpayers for investments of up to £200,000.
    * Betting duties also remain unchanged, but there will be a review of the tax treatment of betting exchanges.
    * Inheritance tax rates are frozen, with the starting point for the tax raised to £263,000.
    * Tax relief for small-budget British films will be transferred directly to the filmmakers to avoid third parties wrongly taking advantage of the measure.
    * Duty on pint of beer raised by 1p, and by 4p on wine, but frozen on spirits, cider and sparkling wine.
    * Tax on cigarettes up in line with inflation - 8p a packet.
    * Accountancy firms will have to register tax avoidance schemes with the Inland Revenue.
Council tax help
    * Pensioners aged over 70 to get an extra £100 this year to help with their problems paying rising council tax bills.
Economic outlook
    * The chancellor opened his speech saying: "The purpose of this Budget is to lock in for Great Britain the economic stability that can and will endure."
    * The British economy grew by 2.3% in 2003, meeting Treasury forecasts.
    * The growth forecast remains at 3-3.5% for 2004 and 2005 and at 2.5-3% for 2006.
    * Claimant count unemployment was now at 2.9% on Wednesday's new figures - the lowest since 1993.
    * Manufacturing output is expected to grow by just under 2% this year and over 2% next year.
    * The deputy prime minister will consult on how to increase the supply and affordability of housing after Wednesday's Barker Review on homes' shortages.
    * The Treasury will review progress on joining the euro in the next Budget, but not now.
    * The government's fiscal rules have been met at every stage of the economic cycle, said Mr Brown.
    * The "golden rule" on balancing the books over the economic cycle will be met with a £11bn surplus.
    * The public sector borrowing for 2003/4 will be £37.5bn, falling to £23 billion by 2009.
Cutting bureaucracy
    * 20,000 civil servants to be moved out of Whitehall to the regions.
    * Department of Work and Pensions to lose more 30,000 staff over four years, with its Budget cut by more than 5% by 2008.
    * Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue to be merged.
    * All departments will cut back room administration budgets by at least 5% by 2008.
Public spending
    * In 2006-07 and 2007-08, current spending will rise by 2.5%, with the money allocated in this summer's spending review.
    * Mr Brown said he had already rejected calls to freeze the defence, Home Office and transport budgets. Both defence and transport would get real terms increases, he said.
    * Education budget to rise to £8.1bn by 2008, with spending on early years teaching to rise to £669m.

For an indepth look at the budget, please click on the BBC News link below.


Related news:

<- Back to the news list