The Resolution Foundation, an independent research and policy organisation, analysed the Chancellor's 2013 Budget:
- Personal tax allowances: Small gains for the great majority of tax payers excluding the very highest and lowest earners. However three-quarters of the £1 billion goes to households in the top half.
- Fuel duty: The freeze on fuel duty will disproportionately benefit lower and modest income families.
- Childcare: Welcome increase in generosity of childcare support through Universal Credit but only a minority of working low-income families with children will benefit.
- Housing: Focus on new supply to be welcomed but focus on home ownership is unlikely to benefit those on low and modest incomes.
- Wages: OBR forecasts show wages have dipped further than previously realised. For the median worker, the downturn has become even more severe.
The Chancellor is either oblivious to the tough time that millions of public sector workers and their families are having or he is deliberately setting out to punish them.
Public sector workers have seen their pay frozen as the cost of living soars and thousands now find themselves earning less than the living wage.
Family budgets are at breaking point and millions of nurses, teachers, fire-fighters, council workers and civil servants will have been hoping the Chancellor might ease their pain today, not add significantly to it.
- New Employment Allowance will take the first £2,000 off the employer National Insurance bill of every company in the country
- Around 450,000 small businesses - one third of all employers - will pay no employer National Insurance at all after introduction of Employment Allowance in April next year
- Small firms will be given help through Government procurement budgets, growth vouchers and controls on regulators' charges
- The Capital Gains Tax holiday will be extended
- Corporation tax to be reduced by a further 1% to 20% in April 2015
- Small company and main rates of corporation tax merged at 20p
Here are some of the measures announced by Chancellor George Osborne that could affect voters' wallets:
- Rise in personal allowance brought forward to 2014, meaning no income tax on the first £10,000 of earnings
- Tax free child care vouchers worth £1,200 per child and increased support for families with children on universal credit
- Flat rate pension worth £144 a week to be brought forward to 2016
- Fuel duty rise scrapped
- Help for Equitable Life policy holders extended to those who bought with-profits annuities before 1992, with payments of £5,000 and extra £5,000 for those on lowest incomes
- Planned 3p rise in beer duty tax scrapped and replaced by a 1p cut in duty on a pint of beer
- New Help-to-Buy scheme for those struggling to find mortgage deposits will include £3.5 billion for shared equity loans, and a Government interest-free loan worth 20% of the value of a new build house
- Cap-on social care costs to come in in 2017 and protect savings above £72,000
George Osborne will deliver the Budget tomorrow and is expected to announce further spending cuts.
The Chancellor wants to use the savings to pay for big projects like new roads and houses, which is welcome news for companies in the North East, who are desperate to create jobs.
Our Business Correspondent Ben Chapman has been speaking to members of our Business Club ahead of the Budget announcement.
They believe that it is time for the Chancellor to spend some money.
You can watch his full report below.
The Chancellor, George Osborne visited Hartlepool today to congratulate workers at a firm which has won a multi-million pound contract.
The contract places Heerema Fabrication at the centre of an international gas project in the North Sea, securing work at the site for years to come.
The Cygnus gas project is £1.4bn pound development to expand the sixth largest gas field in the North Sea and Cygnus has chosen Heerema to build the four platforms needed to carry out that work.
In effect, this Hartlepool firm is spearheading the UK's involvement with the Cygnus project which will create 4000 jobs across Britain.
Greggs Chief Executive Ken McMeikan has urged Treasury ministers to rethink the planned VAT rise their products.
In his budget, Chancellor George Osborne proposed introducing a 20% tax rate on hot takeaway foods.
Mr McMeikan says Greggs' pasties, pies and sausage rolls should not be subject to VAT because the customer cannot be guaranteed a hot product.