By Jonathan Davies

Fifty days ahead of the general election, the Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his sixth and final Budget of this government.

In his 59 minute statement, Mr Osborne said Britain is "walking tall again" and described it as the "comeback country" as he revealed a number of policies. So we've pulled everything together here for you to summarise the major talking points.

You can see reaction from the small business community here.

And you can see reaction from the major business organisations here.

Economic growth

The UK economy is forecast to grow by 2.5% this year (up from December forecasts of 2.4%), 2.3% for the next three years and 2.4% in 2019.

George Osborne said the UK's economy could be bigger than Germany within 15 years, making it the biggest in Europe.

Borrowing and the deficit

The Chancellor said the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast borrowing to fall from £97.5bn in 2013-14 to £90.2bn in 2014-15, £75.3bn in 2015-6, £39.4bn in 2016-7, £12.8bn in 2017-8 before reaching a £5.2bn surplus in 2018-9. In the Autumn Statement, Mr Osborne forecast a surplus of £23bn in 2019-20, but today said it would be £7bn.

National debt as a share of GDP is forecast to fall from 80.4% last year to 80.2% in the next finacial year before falling in every year, reaching 71.6% in 2019-20.

£30bn worth of savings will be made if the Conservatives win the general election; £13bn from government departments, £12bn from the welfare budget, £5bn from tax avoidance/evasion.

Inflation is forecast to fall to 0.2% this year.


The crackdown on tax avoidance, the so-called "Google tax", will be brought in next month, taxing companies that divert their profits offshore.

As announced on Monday, a review of the business rates system will be conducted, with the findings revealed in time for the Budget 2016. The business rates relief for small businesses will be extended for two years.

George Osborne reminded us of the 20p rise in National Minimum Wage, taking effect in October, and said it will be above £8 by 2020. Remember, Labour has promised to raise minimum wage to £8 by 2020.

The supplementary charge on North Sea oil companies will be cut to 20% from 30%. And petroleum revenue tax will fall from 50% to 35%. There will also be a new tax allowance to encourage investment, which has fallen recently due to tumbling oil prices, in the North Sea.

The government has established a target of achieving 100 Mbps broadband download speeds across the UK, and plans to improve 4G and free WiFi coverage.

Farmers will be allowed to average incomes over five years.

The government will enter a consultation on tax breaks for local newspapers.

Income tax

The Personal Tax-Free Allowance will be raised from £10,600 to £10,800 in 2016-17, and will reach £11,000 in 2017-18.

The 40p income tax rate threshold will be raised above inflation from £42,385 in 2014-5 to £43,300 in 2017-8.

The annual paper tax return will be abolished and replaced by a new, digital system which will allow businesses and individuals to pay tax at any time throughout the year.

Northern economic powerhouse

The government has committed investment towards building growing tech clusters in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield and will allow Manchester council to keep 100% of any extra revenue generated from business rates.


The Chancellor introduced plans to raise the annual bank levy to 0.21%, generating an extra £900m for government finances.

The government will also sell £9bn worth of Lloyds shares and sell £13bn worth of mortgage assets relating to its bailout of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley during the financial crisis.

Banks will also have to include compensation for mis-selling, like PPI, in corporation tax calculations. Currently, banks can exclude such compensation from their corporation tax.

Pensions and savings

The pension pot lifetime allowance will be cut from £1.25m to £1m from next year, saving £600m a year.

The law will be changed to allow five million pensioners to access their annuities early and replace them without being taxed.

95% of savers will not be taxed on the first £1000 of their savings.

A new "Help to Buy" ISA will be created for first-time buyers, where the government contributes £50 for every £200 saved.


The Chancellor announced that work is ongoing to create the Cardiff City Deal and confirmed that the government will enter negotiations on subsidies for a tidal lagoon in Swansea.

He also revealed that the Severn Bridge tolls will be cut from 2018, specifically the top rate for vans.