The Budget: what to expect

Our political correspondent Bob Constantine looks ahead to the budget and makes some predictions about what to expect in the West Country.

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Growth figures from George Osborne's Budget

by - Deputy Political Editor

The Chancellor has predicted growth will be higher in 2014 than predicted. At the last Budget - the 2014 growth was forecast to be 1.8%.

Now he says GDP will grow by 2.7% The forecast is also higher in 2015 at 2.3%.

It is the same in 2016 at 2.6% And slightly lower in 2017 and 2018

Watch live: George Osborne announces 2014 Budget


Investment allowance boost for businesses

The Annual Investment Allowance for businesses has been doubled to £500,000, George Osborne has announced.

Mark Evans, Tax Partner at independent chartered accountants Baker Tilly, says: "This is great news for businesses and means any spending up to that amount on capital plant or machinery can receive tax relief of 100%.

"Obviously George Osborne has been persuaded to change his mind as it was pre-announced that this allowance would fall from £250,000 to £25,000."

The Chancellor now says 99.8% of businesses will get the benefit of this measure.



Bingo duty cut to 10% and beer down by 1p a pint

The duty on Bingo will be reduced.
The duty on Bingo will be reduced. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The Chancellor has confirmed that the duty on Bingo will be reduced to 10%

Tobacco duty will rise by 2% above inflation, and the escalator already in place, will be extended for the rest of the next Parliament.

The alcohol duty escalator will be scrapped. Duties on Scottish whiskey and cider will be frozen.

Beer duty will be cut by 1p, for the second year running.


Duty on bingo halls halved to 10%

by - Political Editor

Bingo duty halved. We may laugh, but it is a section of the audience he badly needs to reach.


Bingo duty is halved to 10% - great news for bingo halls up and down the country!



£200 million fund for local councils to help fix potholes

£200 million local fund to 'help fix potholes'
£200 million local fund to 'help fix potholes' Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The Chancellor has approved a £270 million guarantee for the Mersey Gateway bridge as well as funding for repairs to the M4.

George Osborne also said he would release a further £140 million for flood defences repairs in addition to funds already announced.

Mr Osborne told MPs there would be £200 million fund for local authorities to help with fixing potholes.


Osborne announces Alan Turing Institute

by - Political Correspondent

George Osborne says a new institute, named after mathematician Alan Turing, will make sure the UK 'leads the way again in the use of big data and algorithm research'.


Alan Turing Institute to be established to work with big data. No big money mentioned for it. #Budget2014


He announces the Alan Turing Institute, named after brilliant mathmetician who helped us win WW2, but was persecuted for his sexuality.


Osborne clamps down on tax avoidance schemes

George Osborne has announced that he will introduce what is in effect a 'pay first, trial later' program for those who are alleged to have used tax avoidance schemes.

As explained by Mark Evans, Tax Partner at independent chartered accountants Baker Tilly: "Before today, those that undertook tax avoidance schemes would generally not pay the tax that the scheme was designed to save until HMRC managed to prove that the scheme was ineffective.

"This has generally been done through court action," he added.

Mr Osborne said in his statement that he expects this new measure to bring in around £4 billion in additional tax receipts.

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