/ Money

Thumbs up or thumbs down for the Budget?

Budget bag

I was eagerly watching the Budget today to find out what the Chancellor would announce and what that would mean for consumers. We’ve polled the public to see what they think about George Osborne’s 2013 Budget.

As soon as George Osborne finished, we started to poll more than 1,000 people across Britain about what they thought about the key announcements.

Overall, people feel fairly positive about the key measures announced in the Budget. It isn’t surprising that 87% of people support the decision to scrap the fuel duty rise, for example, as this has been one of the top consumer worries in our regular polling. And 89% support the rise in the personal tax allowance to £10,000 in April 2014.

Similarly, there was some good news for home buyers and two thirds of people support the announcement to extend the housing Shared Equity Scheme – where the government offer interest free loans to help people get on the property ladder.

Budget fails to boost consumer confidence

But, despite some strong support for individual measures, many people feel less confident about their finances and lack trust in the government to handle the economy. Here are some of our key findings:

Many have lost confidence due to the Budget: A third of people feel less confident about the economy as a result of the Budget, and a similar portion are less confident about their personal finances. George Osborne’s 2013 Budget has actually led to a fall in consumer confidence – 44% expect their personal finances to get worse in the next 12 months (up from 39% in February).

Our poll is gloomy reading for the government: around half of people think that the government’s economic plan isn’t working, and six in ten agree that the government needs to rethink its plan. Half of the population are not satisfied with the direction of the UK and half don’t trust the government to handle the economy.

People feel they’re taking a personal hit: nearly half of people think that the Budget will be good for the UK as a whole, but only a third of people think it will be good for them personally.

Increased cost of living tightening belts: seven in 10 say they are being negatively impacted by the increased cost of living and six in ten expect their family budget to be tighter this year than last.

This is what our poll tells us, but what about you? Do you think the UK is heading in the right direction or do we need a Plan B? Has the Budget made you feel more positive about the economy and your family’s finances, or is it more of the same?

Brian Drever says:
21 March 2013

As pensioner this budget has done absolutely nothing for us . Our personal allownance has been frozen and along with rising fuel prices (despite the the scrapping of the September increase) because of oil prices, and our energy bills rising yearly we are going backwards. I thought I would never say this but Cameron & Osborne are 10 times worse than Maggie Thatcher ever was.

Furry Fred says:
22 March 2013

Agreed. The freeze of personal allowances for the over 65’s is criminal and they have the gall to say that pensioners are doing better.

Under Thatcher the link between wages and the State Pension was broken only to have the link restored in 2012, but with no compensation for the period had been denied. If it were to be retrospectively restore then the basic state pension would be in the region of £170.00 pw.

Each year, the Government publishes a survey of income poverty in the UK called Households Below Average income (HBAI).

This survey sets the poverty line in the UK at 60 per cent of the median UK household income. In other words, if a household’s income is less than 60 per cent of this average, HBAI considers them to be living in poverty.

Median weekly wage is currently £26,000 pa (£500pw) therefore poverty starts by7 definoition at £300 pw – compare this with the current and proposed state pensions! State pensioners get 26% of the average wage

If we were receiving the poverty level from our pension I would accept the freeze of tax allowances but at the present rates – no way!

Back in 2007 we were last in the league table behind such powers as Germany, Estonia and Ireland of state pension payers with 30% of median average earnings – we are now down to 26% and still bottom of the pile!!

Need I comment further?

richard says:
22 March 2013

Couldn’t have put it better – Not to mention the £72,000 old age health TAX imposed ANNUALLY on the OAP if they are old and ill. 120,000 OAPs are forced to pay for long term care every year until poverty intervenes – What incentive is there to save for your old age??
Far better to spend like certain other sections of the population – the feckless – the migrants etc etc – who get THEIR health care FREE – and enjoy the money when young enough to able to do so.
The OAP now has to pay for care if he/she was prudent and worked and saved hard until penniless. ..

It would be helpful if contributors would suggest ways of funding increased expenditure, so that the budget will balance. For example – if we raise state pensions, what should be spend less on or which taxes should be raised?

richard says:
22 March 2013

Disagree – We VOTED for politicians to run the country – This lot have manifestly failed to make our lot better unless you happen to be rich and powerful – I hope the inept mess will teach the electorate NOT to vote Tory again – Thatcher was bad enough – But Cameron is far far worse as he is far more incompetent

There are lots of things the Government could do, but they don’t want to, as they are politically against them.

To increase Government income
1. Increase the number of Council Tax bands above the existing ones.
2. Remove the 25% discount for single people for higher Council Tax bands, ie large houses.
3. Mansion Tax on high value properties.
4. Remove the lower rate National Insurance band.
5. Reinstate the 50% income Tax rate.
6. Restrict pension contribution tax relief to Standard Rate.

To cut Government expenditure
1. Scrap PCCs and their deputies, assistant deputies, etc.
2. Withdraw from Afghanistan immediately.
3. Close down overseas bases like Akrotiri, Cyprus.
4. Think, before doing things like West Coast Mainline bid,
5. Cap CAP handouts.
6. Scrap the Royals.
Quite easy, really…

Richard – My question was deliberately intended to be non-political. I’m not interested in politics and have little confidence in any party.

My point is that if we spend more money it has to come from somewhere. Ed has produced his suggestions of where to spend more money and where to make savings. You have often said that we should spend more on care of the elderly. Fair enough, but the money has to come from somewhere.

richard says:
25 March 2013

Wavechange – True – BUT not from OAPs who worked hard all their lives – The rich Banks should be contributing FAR more to social services – as should money grabbing rich people – The charge on OAPs is a political decision I disagree with.

Ray Jones says:
24 March 2013

The Budget (joke) is another plan to get the rich richer Gideon (georges real name) boasts about
lowering the tax threshold for lower paid but doesnt boast about putting 5 million into the higher tax band, The wallpaper seller is incompetent he sits on the front bench laughing when his cuts are discussed how can a man with such a low knowledge of maths become Chancellor, sorry of course its because he was a bullingdon boy with the other clown Camermoron