In his pre-Budget report, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (ie Minister of Finance or Secretary of the Treasury) Alistair Darling included the following points:
National insurance rates to rise by an additional 0.5% from April 2011
People under 24 to be guaranteed work or training after six months out of work
The "training or education" guarantee for 16 and 17-year-old to be extended into 2010
Basic state pension will rise by 2.5% in April 2010, child and disability benefits by 1.5%
All public sector pay rises to be capped at 1% for two years from 2011
VAT returns to 17.5% rate of 1 January 2010 after its temporary reduction
A one-off 50% tax on bank bonuses of more than £25,000
Total government spending in 2010-11 to rise by £31bn.
Governing borrowing in 2009 forecast raised to £178bn. Estimated government borrowing of £176bn in 2010 and £140bn in 2011, then to £96bn in 2013
Budget deficit to be reduced by 50% by 2013
A boiler scrappage scheme (estimated to benefit 125,000 households)!
Electric cars to be exempt from company car tax for 5 years
Tax rebate for installation of wind turbines and solar panels
New 10% tax on income from patents in order to boost scientific innovation
Plans for a 1p increase in tax for small firms to be abandoned (for now)
A new 50p tax on landline phones in order to finance investments in superfast broadband
Should government budgets, as in the UK, streamline their spending on what matters (welfare, etc) and leave other areas to the market forces?