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Help To Buy ISA – 2015 Budget Highlights

A bullish George Osborne has delivered his pre-election budget to the House Of Parliament this afternoon, repeating his claim that 'the long term economic plan' was working.

Using the platform of the budget to promote his political party ahead of the upcoming General Election Mr Osborne didn't waste any time in building a case for the strong economic recovery he believes the Conservatives have helped to create in the last few years.

According to the Chancellor the deficit is now nearly half of what it was when the coalition government came into power and unemployment has fallen dramatically.

Mr Osborne went on to add that continuing with the long term economic plan was vital to building a strong and healthy Great Britain.

Headlines from the budget included an increase in the personal tax allowance. This means that the first £10,800 earned next year is free from tax and this figure will rise further to £11,000 the year after.

This is no doubt a popular move amongst voters as it takes the lowest paid earners out of paying tax all together and gives a small but welcome boost to all workers. Other crowd pleasing pledges will include the cut on duty tax applied to alcohol. There will be a penny off the pint, cider duty will fall by 2pc, and whisky and spirits will also get a 2pc cut.

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There was also a significant emphasis on what is known as the 'Northern Powerhouse' – a plan to build connections between Leeds, Manchester and the cities of the north to stimulate the northern economy.

Help To Buy ISA Gives savers 25% boost

As expected there was more good news for first-time homebuyers in the budget.

It was widely rumoured before the budget that there would be some news on the extension or expansion of the popular Help-to-Buy scheme and that was indeed the case. Mr Osbourne announced the launch of a brand new ISA designed to help first-time buyers save a deposit for their own homes.

For every £200 people save for a deposit the government will top up their savings by £50. If you’re a first time buyer you can save up to £200 a month towards your first home with the Help to Buy ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25%. Savers can receive a bonus of up to a maximum of £3,000 each.

Of the new initiative Mr Osbourne said:

“It's as simple as this - we'll work hand in hand to help you buy your first home.”

There is more information available on the Help-to-Buy ISA from a Government Fact Sheet, available here.

Does Budget address problem of Apprenticeships in Construction?

One of the big problems in the construction industry over the last few years has been the lack of fresh talent in the industry and recruiting enough new apprentices. The budget offered a rise in the hourly rate for younger workers and a 20% increase for apprentices which equates to a jump of 57p - to £3.30 an hour.

This increase has been described by some observers as 'pitiful' and it is unlikely to help construction firms attract more apprentices on its own.

The big question of this budget remains if we will actually see any of the policies come into action. With many of the pledges designed to sweeten up voters pre-election, and the fact that the opinion polls currently can't split Labour and the Conservatives, there is no guarantee the current Government will get to see out their latest financial plans.


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