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Budget Blog....

Many thanks to the Chancellor for kicking off with a reminder that this is the worst recession for 60 years. We all know it, we all feel it and we only think you’re going to remind us about it now if you’re going to make some bleak announcements!

Anyway. Here is a summary (as at 1pm) of what he’s announced so far. Always bear in mind that there’s always a lot buried away in the small print so what follows is just headline stuff:

Inflation will be 2% by next year

ISA limits will rise in line with inflation

The stamp duty threshold will rise from £125,000 to £250,000. However, I believe this is for first time buyers and the quid pro quo is that stamp duty on residential property over £1 million will rise to 5%

A guarantee that everyone will have a basic bank account

The bank bonus tax raised £2 billion rather than an initial prediction of £550 million. Tax on bank bonuses will pay for a £2.5 billion growth package

The Growth forecast is downgraded from 3.75% (in the Pre Budget report) to 3.25%

The 1p rise in national insurance and the 50p tax rate are confirmed

More to follow