City reacts to national budget

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Top city political and business figures have given their reaction to the latest budget announcement.

Private businesses were given a boost as were those looking to save for homes or put money away for retirement

Cash ISAs and stocks & shares ISA have been merged into a single New ISA with an annual limit of £15,000 making saving simpler and more flexible.

The 10p starting rate of tax for savings income has been scrapped with the 10p band set to become a zero rate band, extended to the first £5,000 of savings income.

A new pensioner bond we will be created to offer a return that is better than anything pensioners can get now – helping those who have worked hard and saved.

The biggest reform of pensions taxation in a century. This will mean no one will have to buy an annuity if they don’t want to, there will be no punitive 55 per cent tax rate if you try and take more than your tax free lump sum and everyone who retires on these schemes will now be offered free, impartial, face-to-face advice.

The proposed Personal Allowance, was revised up from its original increase to a further increase to £10,500, which will lift 3 million people out of tax altogether.

It was also good news for motorists with a further freeze on fuel duty

MP for Milton keynes North, Mark Lancaster said; “This is a great step forward for the people of Milton Keynes. Now they can start to feel the benefits of their hard working and the economic growth and recovery of the City and the UK as a whole.

“The increase in personal allowance will be a huge boon for the local economy, with rate of unemployment for young people in Milton Keynes falling, they will be able to enjoy more of their hard earned income than ever before”.

Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South added, “I agree completely with Mark as city and a nation we are working incredibly hard and it is now starting to pay off. The savings measures are something I have wanted to see for a while so I was delighted to see them included.”

“The increase in the personal allowance will take around 1,000 people across Milton Keynes out of paying tax altogether. This is a very positive budget, but it is important we stick to the long term plan to make our economy resilient and successful for the long term.”

Andrew Pakes, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, said: “This was a Budget for those that have done well under the Tories rather than lifting living standards for the many. Despite increasing business confidence in the city there was nothing today about rising living costs or the recent increase in unemployment in the city.

“I was hoping for a clear sign from Ministers that they get the situation ordinary families and businesses face in Milton Keynes, with help to cut business rates for small firms and to invest in the skills to help secure the recovery.

“It is notable that the Chancellor had more to say about his £200,000 tax cut for the wealthiest than his decision to deny hard working nurses a £250 pay increase. I was looking for much more ambition to help businesses and families get on in Milton Keynes.”

Seb Tubb, tax partner at the Milton Keynes office of international accountancy firm Mazars, said: “There were some attractive incentives for business especially SMEs – the increase in the annual investment allowance to £500,000 will be welcome.

“It is as much as most small and medium sized companies will spend in a year on plant and machinery, so in effect they will get 100 per cent tax relief on this expenditure.

“This is arguably the biggest change in the private pension regime for 30 years – it is very significant indeed.”