23rd March 2012
Chancellors use the Budget statement to update Parliament and the nation on the state of the economy, on the public finances and on progress against the Government's economic objectives.
George Osborne's budget options were limited because of the government's commitment to cut the country's annual deficits and warnings from two credit rating agencies that Britain could lose its triple A credit rating within the next 12-18 months.
SUMMARY OF KEY BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Chancellor's opening salvo: "Mr Deputy Speaker, this Budget rewards work. Britain is going to earn its way in the world. There is no other road to recovery. This Budget supports working families and helps those looking for work. "It unashamedly backs business."
Budget 2012 announced wide-ranging reforms to the tax system. These reforms will lower headline rates, diversify and broaden sources of revenue, and reduce reliefs. The reforms were based on the principle that the tax system should be fair, efficient and simple.
KEY POINTS BY SECTOR
Not surprisingly, the cut in the top rate of tax for high earners sparked heavy protests from the public. The Chancellor's announcement that he will phase out the higher income tax allowance enjoyed by around half the country's pensioners also brought outrage. Here's some of the fallout from the budget: