Chancellor George Osborne has revealed the pre-election Budget, and it features some key changes that will interest the residents of Scotland. There’s a boost to the country’s oil and whisky industries, and the Scottish government will be provided with an extra £31million next year. A £1.3billion package was also pledged in support for the North Sea, including slashing the headline rate of tax in the sector.
The supplementary charge on oil company profits will be cut from 30 per cent to 20 per cent, and a “simple and generous” tax allowance has been promised that will stimulate investment in the North Sea from the start of April. An additional £4billion of investment is expected to be raised following the package, and production will be increased by 15 per cent by the end of the decade, according to UK Government figures.
Elsewhere, the alcohol duty on whisky will be cut by 2 per cent, meeting the demands placed by the industry. The Scotch Whisky Association has welcomed the move, claiming it will boost the market exponentially. “This is a historic decision and only the fourth time the whisky duty has been cut in a century,” claimed the association’s chief executive David Frost. “The move is a major boost to our industry as we look to grow again in the UK, and equally sends out an important signal on fair taxation to our export markets.”
The income tax threshold will be increased to £11,000 from 2017-18, benefitting 2.33 million people in Scotland. 287,000 Scottish residents will be relieved from paying the levy altogether. Alistair Carmichael, Scottish Secretary and Lib Dem MP commented on the Budget, saying, “It gets the important things right, with a focus on helping create a fairer and more generous personal tax system which will benefit thousands of people in Scotland, and giving a helping hand to some of our key business sectors, securing jobs and prosperity for the future.”
Scottish labour leader Jim Murphy said the Chancellor was in “denial” over the damage he’d caused to Scotland. “George Osbourne’s tax and benefit changes have cost families the equivalent of an 8p tax rise,” he said. “On average, that amounts to £1,127 a year. He will leave office as Chancellor with the majority of people worse off than they were when he moved into Treasury. It’s a record of failure.”
The Budget will no doubt leave many people scratching their heads, and Scottish citizens who are struggling with debt may still be wondering how it affects them. If you’re struggling with debt problems then Trust Deed Scotland is the first choice for helpful advice in the country. We give you free, qualified debt guidance so that you can discover all of your options and decide the best direction to take next. If you’re interested in securing a Trust Deed then our Trust Deed Wizard will be able to assess whether you qualify within a few minutes. Make sure you get in touch with Trust Deed Scotland for the best debt advice around.