Budget 2012: Clashes on the ‘family Budget’

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CHANCELLOR George Osborne said every working person in Britain would be more than £200 better off come next year – thanks to today’s Budget.

He increased the amount UK workers can earn before they are liable for tax to £9,205, a rate which will come in April 2013.

He said: “I’m announcing the largest ever increase in the personal allowance – the amount people can earn tax free. Every working person on low or middle incomes will benefit. People will be able to earn up to £9,205 before they have to pay any tax.

“Millions of working people will be £220 better off every year.

“People working full time on the minimum wage, will have seen their income tax bill cut in half.”

But after he slashed the top rate of tax for high earners, Opposition Leader Ed Miliband said: “Millions will now pay more while millionaires pay less.

“A year ago the Chancellor told us in his speech that now would not be the right time to move the 50p top rate of tax when we’re asking others in our society on much lower incomes to make sacrifices.

“But that’s exactly what he’s done.

“Families on £20,000 a year – the nurse, the lorry driver – aren’t going to be better off they’ll be worse off £200 to £350 per year. He’s giving with one hand taking far more away with the other.”

The UK economy shrank by 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, but Mr Osborne said it was hoped recession could be avoided.

He also hoped to help business through cuts in Corporation Tax and improvements to the transport network.

He added: “We want to look at the opportunities for increasing the role of private investment in the road network, learning lessons from the water industry.

“I confirm Network Rail will extend the Northern Hub, adding to the electrification of the Transpennine rail route, by upgrading the Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield – and improving the Manchester to Preston and Blackpool, and Manchester to Bradford lines.”

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