Budget Highlights - 2005

Presenting his ninth Budget to the House of Commons in March 2005, Chancellor Gordon Brown pledged to provide “long-term stability” and to ensure “fairness and opportunity” for hard-working families in the UK.

The Chancellor was keen to emphasise that the UK has experienced the longest period of economic growth on record, and confirmed that he had met his “Golden Rule” by a margin of £6bn. This was despite criticisms that his economic forecasts were too optimistic.

The Chancellor announced various measures aimed at boosting UK competitiveness. These include reducing red tape by cutting the number of regulatory agencies from thirty-five to nine. In addition the Government will adopt the recommendations of the Better Regulation Task Force.

As widely anticipated, the Chancellor announced that the lower stamp duty land tax threshold will double to £120,000. The move will benefit some first-time buyers in certain parts of the country, the majority of whom have become liable to pay the duty as a result of rising house prices.

The inheritance tax threshold will also increase from £263,000 to £300,000 by the year 2007. The child tax credit will rise by 13% in line with earnings, over the course of the next three years.

For more detailed information on the 2005 Budget, we recommend the excellent Budget guide available from D J Colom & Co.

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