Announcing 2 budgets in such quick succession (March and now July of the same year) is unusual for a UK government, but in today’s budget announcement Chancellor George Osbourne has once again emphasised the UK’s need to reduce the deficit.
The budget in a basic summary contains goals to:
- Reform the ‘non-domiciled’ tax status. Now anyone who has been a resident in the UK for more than 15 of the past 20 years will pay full British taxes on all worldwide income, starting in April 2017.
- A corporate tax cut to 18% by 2020
- Fuel duties frozen for the rest of the year
- A new compulsory living wage of £9 per hour by 2020
- £37 billion in spending cuts planned for this parliament’s tenure
- From January 2016 an 8% surcharge on bank profits
The Chancellor seems especially keen to close down tax havens with the new ruling on non-doms. The government wants to raise £7.2 billion by clamping down on tax avoidance and tax evasion – the HMRC’s budget has been increased by £750 million to combat this.