Budget 2006

Well, today was the day for Chancellor Gordon Brown to make clear the governments budget for the this year, would it be a “family friendly” budget, with more benefits and breaks for couples and parents, or would, for once, the government recognise the very different needs of the single person, already hit hard in recent years by increasing petrol, gas, council tax, national insurance etc.

In the early stages, it looks good – with sensible changes to motor vehicle tax – including removing the burdan of road tax from the cleanest cars , and postponing the annual increase in fuel duty until September… (make note to fill the tank on August 31st then!)

Supporting the governments policies on smoking, there’s an additional 9p tax surcharge going on a pack of cigarettes, and an increase on the thresholds for both stamp duty and inheritance tax – good news for people planning to buy a house.

A permanent memorial is planned for the victims of the terrorist atrocities in London last July, and of course, with the London Olympics in 2012, it’s time to start investing in British sport in schools, no doubt so we don’t embarass ourselves completely as the host nation!

Surprise surprise, the government has earmarked £200m extra to “promote international peacekeeping” – which I assume means trying to pursuade the voters why the war in Iraq is a good thing…

Of course, with all this additional spending there is no room for tax cuts 😦

Point by point details of everything in the speech, along with plenty of analysis and more details can be found on the BBC News Website