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  1. National

Citizens Advice welcomes Osborne's pensions change

Citizens Advice has welcomed the Chancellor's proposals on pensions in his Budget speech.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said after the announcement: “The proposals to free up pensions are welcome, particularly the new ‘right to advice’, which recognises the significant value of impartial, trusted advice.

Citizens Advice welcomed George Osborne's proposals 'to free up pensions'. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

“People who are able to put money aside into savings will find an increase in how much they can save tax free helpful.

"But the Chancellor does need to remember that for many people, saving money is a pipe dream as they are struggling to make ends meet."

  1. National

Pensions providers see shares hit after Budget

Pension providers have seen their share price fall in the wake of a series of announcements from the Chancellor affecting the industry.

George Osborne with his Treasury team ahead of the Budget.

The latest figures from the London Stock Exchange show drops in share prices across major providers.

Legal & General -10.7%

Aviva -7.66%

Standard Life - 3.28%

Prudential -2.67%

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Lifeline for Warrington charity on eve of bombing anniversary

Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball who were killed by the IRA in the Warrington bombing Credit: ITV Granada

A charity set up after the IRA bombing in Warrington has been given a lifeline in the budget.

'Survivors For Peace' run by the Tim Parry and Jonathan Ball Foundation, had faced an uncertain future.

It was struggling to find 150 thousand pounds a year to keep going. But on the eve of the bombing's 21st anniversary, George Osborne said the government would provide financial help.

The charity works with people affected by terrorism, war and political violence in Britain and Ireland.

  1. National

'Ridiculous' tax rebate extends to those earning 300k

A mother of three and chief executive of MyFamilyClub, a money saving website, told ITV News the government's childcare support was "welcome" but it was "ridiculous" it extended to those earning up to £300,000 a year.

Gemma Johnson. Credit: MyFamilyClub

Gemma Johnson said: "British childcare costs are amongst the highest in the world - so this tax rebate is welcome, as it will help make working parents better off at a time when family budgets are stretched to the absolute limit.

"But it's ridiculous that this tax rebate extends to families earning up to £300,000 a year, and yet doesn't help the millions of families that have a stay-at-home mum or dad by one single penny."

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  1. National

Miliband: Osborne ignored living standards

The Chancellor spoke for almost an hour but failed to mention that people's living standards have fallen under the Conservatives, Labour leader Ed Miliband claimed after the Budget.

He told the Commons: "Living standards down, month after month, year after year.

"Since the election working people's living standards - £1,600 a year down. You are worse off under the Tories.

"Their 2010 manifesto promised 'an economy where people's standard of living rises steadily and sustainably'.

"But they have delivered exactly the opposite.

"And today you simply reminded people of the gap between your rhetoric and the reality of people's lives.

"Living standards falling for 44 out of 45 months under this Prime Minister, unmatched since records began. No amount of smoke and mirrors can hide it."And we already know the answer to the question millions of people will be asking in 2015 - are they better off now than they were five years ago?

"The answer is no. Worse off, much worse off, worse off under the Tories."

  1. National

Government's 'austerity obsession causing misery'

Unions have attacked the Chancellors "obsession with austerity" after he gave his latest Budget.

This Budget reeks of the stuck-up complacency of the well-heeled elite.

Osborne's claim that the economy will get back to pre-recession levels this year is sadly not the case. GDP per head is still 5.7% down on 2007 and real value of average earning is also down 13.8%. There is a very long way to go to get living standards for the vast majority of workers back to pre-recession levels.

The Budget is doing very little to get the 912,000 unemployed aged 16-24 into proper jobs. As some 246,000 have been out of work for over a year, there is a grave danger of seeing a lost generation.

– Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB

This Government's obsession with austerity is causing misery for millions of people while the over-hyped economic recovery benefits only a wealthy few.

Instead we need free universal childcare so parents can afford to return to work, a living wage and an end to pay cuts, and proper investment to create sustainable jobs and build the homes to tackle the scandal of our housing crisis.

– Mark Serwotka, Public and Commercial Services union general secretary
  1. National

Pensions reform at a glance

George Osborne announced several changes to pensions including options to allow some pensioners to avoid taking out an annuity.

  • Reform of taxation of defined contribution pensions to help 13 million people from 27th March.
  • New Pensioner Bond paying market leading rates to be available from January to all over 65s, with possible rates of 2.8% for one-year bond and 4% for three-year bond.
  • Tax on cash taken out of pension pot on retirement to be reduced from 55% to 20%.
  • All tax restrictions on pensioners' access to their pension pots to be removed, ending the requirement to buy an annuity.
  • £20 million fund to develop new free right to advice for those retiring on defined contribution pensions.
  • Abolition of 10p starting rate of tax on income from savings.
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