By Jonathan Davies
The Chancellor George Osborne delivers the first Conservative budget for 19 years today (Wednesday).
You can have your say on the Summer Budget by tweeting @freshbusiness.
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13:54 - It's safe to say how businesses feel about that Budget. Howard Sears, managing director of the venture capital firm, Astuta, said: "For British
business, this was a frankly barnstorming budget.
"Confidence among UK businesses is already strong but these latest reductions in corporation tax will supercharge it.
“As well as sending out an important message to UK business owners, the reduction in corporation tax will give them a strong competitive edge and the all-important breathing space to grow.
13:42 - We'll bring you all the latest reaction and summarise the main points from the Chancellor's Budget shortly.
13:38 - And that's it! We were told it was going to be a "big" Budget. And a "big" Budget we got.
13:36 - Wow! The Living Wage will raised to £9 by 2020. The National Living Wage will be made compulsory for over 25-year olds from next April - it will start at £7.20. The OBR says the Living Wage will have a "fractional" impact on jobs.
13:34 - Mr Osborne says the UK will commit to increasing the defence budget by 2% of national income for the rest of this Parliament, as requested by NATO.
13:31 - The personal income allowance will be raised to £11,000 next year and the 40p tax rate threshold will be raise to £43,000 next year.
13:30 - Child tax credits will be limited to two children from April 2017 for new claimants. So if you're planning on having more than two children, do it before then!
The Chancellor says these welfare cuts will save £12 billion by 2019/20.
13:25 - The benefits cap per household will be cut to £23,000 in London, and £20,000 in the rest of the UK. Higher earners will pay rent on social housing at market rates.
13:22 - The Chancellor says working-age welfare needs to be more "sustainable". Benefits will be frozen for four years, in the hope that the pace of growth in wages catch up with benefits.
13:21 - Parents will children over the age of 3, including single parents, will be expected to look for work. Parents with 3 and 4-year olds will receive 30 hours worth of free childcare per week.
13:19 - Ah, now for the welfare cuts. As we knew, the BBC has agreed to pay TV licences for over-75s. Mr Osborne also uses that phrase 'earn or learn' for school leavers.
13:17 - Corporation tax will fall to 19% next year, and to 18% in 2017. That will give the UK the lowest corporation tax in the G20.
13:15 - Shareholders will be able to earn up to £5,000 in dividends before paying tax. Mr Osborne claims 85% will not see a change, or will be better off.
13:10 - As expected, cuts to inheritance tax mean people can pass on up to £1 million when passing on a family home to their children without tax.
13:07 - The Chancellor outlines plans to devolve more powers to Birmingham, like the plans for Manchester.
13:03 - From 2016/17 Student Maintenance Grants will be replaced by loans repayable once graduates earn over £21,000 a year in order to fund new university places.
13:01 - Large businesses will be levied on apprenticeships to encourage better placements. 'Businesses will get back more than they put in', Mr Osborne says.
12:57 - On productivity, the government will continue £15bn worth of road improvements. New cars will pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) from 2017. So you'll have to pay what we would've previously called 'car tax' or 'road tax' on brand new cars. Money generated will be used to fund a new roads fund. The average price will be £140.
12:54 - The controversial bank levy will be reduced over the next six years. But an 8% surcharge on profits will be introduced next year. Mr Osborne says the UK will gain more money from the banks, whilst making the market more competitive. Reducing the bank levy could see HSBC stay based in the UK.
12:52 - Those born in the UK of domiciled parents will no longer be able to claim non-dom status later in life. And non-dom status will be scrapped for those who have lived in the UK for 15 of the last 20 years, abolishing the permanent status.
12:50 - HMRC will receive a £750 million investment allowing it to treble the number of individual tax avoiders it pursues.
12:48 - Mr Osborne says the cuts outlined in this Budget will not be as bad as those seen in 2011/12 and 2012/13.
12:47 - The New Fiscal Charter will commit the government to a surplus during normal times (i.e. not a recession/low economic growth) by 2019/20.
12:44 - George Osborne says government debt as a share of GDP will be down to 68.5% by the end of the Parliament. Borrowing forecasts show a £10bn surplus in 2019/20.
12:42 - The OBR has also forecast that one million jobs will be created in this parliament, but the Chancellor is targeting two million.
12:40 - Mr Osborne says the government will cut the deficit at the same pace as in the previous Parliament to reach a surplus by 2019/20. That's a year later than previously forecast in March's Budget.
12:37 - The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast 2.4% growth in 2015, stronger than any major advanced economy in the world. Growth forecast remains unchanged at 2.3% in 2016, and has been revised up to 2.4% in 2017.
He also says business investment is 31.9% higher than in 2010, and has been revised up again this year.
12:36 - He says the British economy is fundamentally stronger than five years ago.
12:35 - The Chancellor says the Budget will create a high wage, low welfare and low tax country.
12:33 - Unsurprisingly, the playground bickering has overrun slightly. Mr Osborne is about to deliver the Budget.
12:17 - Earl Yardley, Director at Industrial Vision Systems, has been in touch on email. He said: “The government must ensure that the announcements made at the Summer Budget provide a positive outlook for UK manufacturing. The more investment and tax breaks within this space, the more stability there is for key industries, such as pharma, medical device, and automation, which, in turn, will also enhance the performances of UK engineering firms."
12:12 - PMQs is underway in the House of Commons. The Chancellor will take the stand at 12:30.
11:43 - George Osborne has brandished the famous red box before making his way to the House of Commons. Outside Whitehall, anti-austerity protesters have been brandishing banners whilst chanting "Balls to the Budget". There are some reporters that some protesters have hurled plastic balls at Police outside Downing Street.
11:37 - So what else do we know about today's Budget?
- The Student Maintenance Allowance is likely to be scrapped, but could be changed to a loan system.
- The 40% income tax threshold is likely to be raised, which could pave the way for cutting the top rate of tax from 45% to 40%.
- The personal income allowance threshold could be raised ahead of schedule.
- The BBC will pay for licence fees for over-75s from 2018.
- Sunday trading laws will be relaxed, and passed onto local councils.
11:15 - As this handy BBC video explains, Chancellors typically like to get the bad stuff out of the way in their first Budget, so the public don't remember them so well in around five years when its general election time again.
11:10 - One of the welfare cuts expected to be announced is the working tax credit. Peter Burgess, Director at Retail Human Resources, a London-based recruitment company specialising in the retail sector, is all for the idea.
He said: “The government’s relentless attempts to make work pay will be given a significant boost by the caps on benefits for those in work. It is unacceptable that workers are encouraged, sometimes by the Job Centres, to only work short hours so that they can claim benefits to top this up. I hope the government will concentrate on the hours worked rather than the amount paid as they should not damage the genuinely low paid."
11:02 - An insider, a "well-placed" insider according to the BBC's Nick Robinson, has said this Budget will be "Big. Very big".
In addition to cuts in welfare, we should see a cut to some taxes, included the inheritance tax.
10:54 - So what can we expect from the Chancellor today? The majority of the Budget will be used to detail the £12 billion welfare cuts. Although promised in the run-up to the general election, the Tories are yet to reveal exactly where the cuts will be made.
10:48 - If you're thinking 'It's not been long since the last Budget', you're right. George Osborne delivered a coalition Budget in March, just 50 days before the general election. A Summer Budget or Emergency Budget is usually delivered following a general election when the government changes.
10:46 - Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Jonathan Davies here, taking you through the first Conservative Budget for 19 years.