Summer Budget snapshot

What was new in the Summer Budget of 2015?

Today's Budget, as with all Budgets was a mix of measures affecting the national finances and measures affecting British households.

We had a package of welfare reforms, the announcement of a living wage of £9 an hour to be introduced by 2020 and an overhaul of business taxation.

Closer to home, the Chancellor announced that from April next year, the amount you can earn before you start paying income tax will be set at £11,000 and the amount you can earn before you can start paying the higher rate is £43,000.

If you have a buy-to-let mortgage you can offset the interest you pay on that mortgage against your income tax and that can be worth 45% for the highest earners. But from 2017, the amount of tax relief you can claim will be limited to 20%.

The Chancellor also announced a change to inheritance tax. Now, this tax is levied when people die and pass their home to the next generation. An increasing number of properties are being caught within the inheritance tax net, so to get around that the Chancellor has introduced a series of measures that will mean homes valued up to £1m can be transferred to the next generation, tax free.

Now there was some good news in the budget for motorists because fuel duty is going to remain frozen, and if you buy a new car the MOT will last for four years instead of three years as at present.

One of the surprises in the Budget was a change to insurance premium tax. Now, this tax is levied on your car insurance and your home insurance premiums and it used to be 6%; from November it will be 9.5%. We've worked out, that for a two-car family buying home insurance and car insurance, it adds up to about £35 a year extra, so we reckon that is a very important reason why you should shop around when you come to buy your insurance so that you can get the lowest possible premium and pay the lowest amount of tax.

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