Pre-Budget Report: Key points at a glance

Posted on: 14 December 2009 by Mark O'haire

Income tax net widens, national insurance up, inheritance tax freeze... the key announcements from the Chancellor's Pre-Budget Report.


Alistair Darling confirmed that the VAT cut to 15%, made in the March Budget, would be reversed as of 1 January 2010.

Inheritance Tax

Individual Inheritance Tax allowance to be frozen at £325,000 for the next year.

Income Tax

In April 2012, the point at which people start paying 40% income tax to be frozen for one year, hitting those earning more than £43,000.

National Insurance

All employer, employee and self-employed rates of National Insurance to rise by a further 0.5% from April 2011. Those earning less than £20,000 won't pay contributions.

Bank Bonuses

No windfall tax on banks, but if they pay substantial rewards to staff they will pay a one-off levy of 50% on any bonus above £25,000.

State Pension

The basic state pension will rise by 2.5% in April, a real-term increase of nearly 4%.

Child Benefit

Child benefit and disability benefit to rise by 1.5% in April 2010.

Public Sector Pay

All public sector pay settlements capped at 1% for two years from 2011, while recognising the special circumstances of the armed forces.

Economic Growth

The UK economy expected to contract by 4.75% with a return to growth in the fourth quarter. Budget forecast of growth of between 1% and 1.5% for 2010, and 3.5% for 2011 and 2012, but not dependent as much on the financial sector.


Public sector net borrowing forecast to be £178bn this year and £176bn next year, higher than Budget forecasts. Net debt forecast to reach 56% of GDP this year, 65% next year and 78% by 2014/15.

Small Business

Increases for smaller companies to be deferred, leaving the 2010 tax rate unchanged. The Time To Pay scheme allowing firms to spread tax payments will be extended for as long as needed. Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme for bank loans to small businesses to be extended for a further 12 months, guaranteeing a further £500m of loans.

Jobs/ Unemployment

Guarantees of a place for every 16 and 17 year-old in education or training to be available to school-leavers again in September 2010. Government to offer financial support for 10,000 under-graduates from poor backgrounds to take up internships in industry and the professions. Under-24s to be guaranteed work or training after six months out of work.

Support for mortgage interest payments for the unemployed to be extended for a further six months.


Stamp duty holiday to end on 1 January 2010. Empty property relief threshold to be extended so that 70% of all empty properties will be exempt.


An extra £200m to be released from April to help with energy efficiency, with an extra 75,000 households helped by the Warm Front scheme.

New scrappage scheme to help up to 125,000 homes replace inefficient boilers, and changes to be made to the Climate Change Levy, company car tax and fuel benefit charge.

From April 2010, tax-free payment of £900 a year for people with a home wind turbine or solar panels who send power back to the National Grid.

Electric cars to be exempted from company car tax for five years.


Go-ahead given for rail electrification between Liverpool, Manchester and Preston.


Super-fast broadband to be extended to 90% of population by the end of 2017, funded by 50p-a-month duty on landlines. 

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