Chancellor moves to help families and encourage people back into workplace
The majority of Jeremy Hunt’s announcements around personal finance were aimed at supporting people in work.
As widely predicted, there was plenty of news around covering the cost of child care.
The Chancellor announced that 30 hours of free weekly childcare is being extended to cover children below the age of three. He said this will reduce childcare costs for families by nearly 60 per cent.
The payments will eventually cover all children from the age of nine months but will only apply to households where both parents are working.
And the provision only applies within school term-time – 38 weeks of the year.
The Chancellor added that he will pilot incentive payments of £600 for childminders joining the profession – £1200 if they join through an agency.
One of the key elements of the Budget was centred on encouraging people back into work.
As widely predicted Jeremy Hunt increased the pensions annual tax-free allowance from £40,000 to £60,000.
He also abolished the Lifetime Allowance – previously set at £1.07m.
The chancellor said a white paper is being published on disability benefits, including plans to abolish the work capability assessment and to separate benefits entitlement from an individual’s ability to work.
As expected Jeremy Hunt set out plans to continue to support households with cost-of-living pressures including keeping the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500 for the next three months and ending the premium that over four million households pay on their prepayment meter, bringing their charges into line with comparable customers who pay by direct debit.
Other announcements covered fuel and alcohol taxation.
Fuel duty has been frozen – the 5p cut to fuel duty on petrol and diesel, due to end in April – will be kept for another year.
From August, alcohol taxes in pubs to be 11p in the pound lower than the rate in supermarkets.