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Live updates from the Budget 2014 and how it will affect Kent

19 March 2014
by Chris Price

Your guide to how the Budget 2014 affects Kent

Your guide to how the Budget 2014 affects Kent

15:15 - Finally a critical voice, sort of.  Nick Paterno, managing partner of Sidcup-based McBrides' Chartered Accountants said: "There was a mention for Ebbsfleet’s new garden city but otherwise there wasn’t much change for Kent business - more steady as she goes. All in all, the Budget will do little to change the financial environment in which Kent businesses operate."

Paul Barber, managing director of Discovery Park

Paul Barber, managing director of Discovery Park

14:42 - Business rate relief in Enterprise Zones has been extended in the Budget. Managing director Paul Barber said: "The announcement is very welcome. It means companies that move to Discovery Park can apply for a £55k per year discount on their business rates provided they come here by March 2018. Previously they had to arrive by March 2015."

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame

14:15 - Got the official line from Shepherd Neame about the cut in beer duty by 1p for the second year running. Chief executive Jonathan Neame - who is also chairman of the British Beer and Pub Association - said: “This is exceptional news for the UK beer and pubs sector. Last year’s cut was warmly welcomed, but it is clear the Treasury accepts the position that sustained support of the industry will secure jobs and investment. Beer has once again been singled out from other forms of alcohol, and for good reason: it is a lower-strength drink. Beer and pubs make a huge contribution to British economy and to the local communities they serve."

Developer Land Securities' vision of how Ebbsfleet Valley could look in 25 years

Developer Land Securities' vision of how Ebbsfleet Valley could look in 25 years

14:05 - Plans for a garden city at Ebbsfleet have got Dartford-based law firm Thomas Snell & Passmore all excited.

Partner Kamal Aggarwal said: "The potential of Ebbsfleet Valley has for far too long been unrealised and in need of real drive and investment from central government. This announcement is very welcome and will act as an enormous boost to economic growth and regeneration for north Kent and the whole of the South East."

13:50 - Saga Holidays chief executive Andrew Strong feels the Folkestone-based over-50s holiday firm has won a victory today with Chancellor's announcement about standardising air passenger duty.

He said: “For some time we’ve been campaigning for changes to air passenger duty that stopped the unfair discrimination experienced by those choosing to travel to Caribbean Islands who were paying more than to travel to the US. Today the Chancellor has standardised APD which will help reduce the costs to travellers of visiting these stunning destinations, and may help boost the economies that rely so heavily on tourism from the UK.”

13:43 - Deputy speaker having to step in several times to stop heckling. Very rowdy.

13:38 - Miliband: "Whose recovery is it under the Tories? It's a recovery of the few and not the many."

13:36 - Miliband on Nick Clegg: "Day after day he says he doesn't support Tory policy but day after day he supports Tory policy."

13:33 - Miliband: "It's the same old Tory trick. He didn't mention the 24 tax rises introduced since he became Chancellor. A classic Tory con. Give with one hand and take far more away with the other."

13:32 - Miliband opens speech on living standards being down. "You're worse off under the Tories."

13:28 - Osborne ends speech with the line: "This is a budget for the makers, the doers and the savers."

13:28 - Message from Osborne: "You have earned it, you have saved it and this government is on your side."

13:27 - Abolishing 10p rate for savers all together.

13:26 - Doubling pensions savings lump sum to £30,000.

13:25 - Pension news: "Pensioners will have complete freedom to draw down as much as pension pot as they want. No one will have to buy an annuity."

13:20 - Policies for savers announced. 24m people in UK have ISA. Will merge cash and stocks ISAs to make them "simple". Will increase annual limit to £15,000. Available from July 1.

13:19 - People earning up to £100,000 will pay less income tax. 

13:16 - Freezing duty on scotch whiskey. Beer duty will be cut by 1p. Second year running for beer.

13:15 - Bingo duty halved to 10%

13:13 - New £7bn package unveiled to protect British manufacturers.

13:13 - Annual investment allowance for business extended to 2015 and doubled to £500k.

13:10 - 100% investment allowance for 98% of firms. Almost every business in Britain will pay no upfront tax when investing in future.

13:08 - Enterprise zones flourishing. Business rates discounts to be extended for another three years. Good news for businesses at Discovery Park, Sandwich.

13:07 - Will extend grants for businesses to support apprenticeships.

13:04 - Deriding Labour for only building 300 homes at Ebbsfleet so far. "More Ebb than Fleet." Chancellor thanks MPs in Gravesham and Dartford for their help.

13:03 - Will build new homes in South East. Build first garden city in 100 years at Ebbsfleet.

13:02 - OBR revised down forecast tax receipts for North Sea oil. Now implying budget of independent Scotland would be "precarious."

13:00 - Double amount of lending available to £3bn. Interest rates charged by third. "Most competive export finance in Europe."

12:59 - Now onto exports. OBR forecasts rising growth in future. 

12:57 - Will relieve VAT on fuel for air ambulances.

12:54 - OBR confirms £4bn tax receipts to come from efforts to minimise tax avoidance. Chancellor increasing HMRC budget to tackle non-compliance.

12:52 Osborne unveils permanent cap on welfare.

12:47 - Now the big reveal of "highly secure" £1 coin. "Blend security features of the future with the inspiration of our past. A more resilient pound for a more resilient economy," says Mr Osborne.

12:44 - OBR revise down national debt and say GB will not be borrowing at all by 2018/19.

12:44 - Borrowing expected to fall to £95bn next year.

12:36 - "Support for savers is at the centre of our Budget."

12:35 - Osborne: "Yes manufacturing is growing again... today we support manufacturers and back all regions of our country."

12:34 - Osborne: "Yes the deficit is down by a third, now in the coming year it will be down by a half."

12:34 - And we're underway. Osborne says "we have set out our plan and held our nerve."

12:26 - Bingo halls in Kent also have high hopes for this Budget. Here is a story from earlier today.

12:25 - PMQs just finishing up and Mr Osborne preparing for his big moment. David Cameron already talking about how important manufacturing is for the UK.

Here we go then. We'll be bringing you live coverage of the Budget as it happens from 12.30pm, along with a few choice snippets and comments from various figures around the county. To give you an idea of what to expect, here's a Budget story from earlier.


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