Thursday, 23 April 2009

Was there any joy in the budget?

The 2009 budget has come and gone. With the recession and the economic problems of the country, there wasn't much hope of hand-outs from the Chancellor. But was there any good news?

Broadband help

The broadband industry will be able to use a possible £250m underspent by the BBC on its digital switchover to bring broadband to the whole of Britain. This could benefit many people unable to afford broadband at the moment.

ISA limit increased

Savers have had a rough year, but there was some good news in the budget in that the tax-free ISA savings limit was increased to £10,200 per year (£5,100 into a cash ISA). The change comes in on 6 April 2010 - or 6 October 2009 for over 50s. But has anyone got any money to save?

Stamp duty

The stamp duty holiday will continue until the end of the year - beyond the original September deadline. This may help homebuyers, and the property market is showing some signs of picking up.


The budget indicated that the government will guarantee a job or meaningful work-related activity to long-term unemployed people between 18 and 25 years of age. The aim is to "ensure no young people are left behind".

There was nothing here to help anyone "find their fortune", but these days small mercies are welcome.

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