What will the 2013 Budget mean for you?

Handsome George Osborne
George Osborne - the ladies' choice
"Panto season isn't for another nine months, so please take your auditions outside!" Can't help but wonder if the deputy speaker had practised that in the mirror last night…
  • | by Felicity Hannah

As the dust settles around George Osborne's latest Budget, we've been taking a look at how his plans will hit our pockets.

Each year, some Brits choose to have a flutter on what colour tie the chancellor will wear as he delivers his Budget speech (this year it was pale blue, so my guess of 'Homer Simpson' was right out).

Perhaps instead they should have bet on how many times the opposition would interrupt proceedings with chants of: 'Get him out!' I lost count myself.

This was a Budget for hard-working Brits, according to the government, and George rammed that message home throughout his speech. So, if you're a hard worker, or even if you're not, here's what Gideon's plans mean for you:

The winners

Some of the easiest headlines from this year's Budget are good news stories - at least until we've all had time to comb through the small print.

Here's who might be feeling a little more flush following the announcements.


This was announced yesterday, but Osborne reiterated that working parents will be able to receive 20% tax relief on childcare worth up to £6,000 - per child. Don't go breeding too fast, though, this change won't come into play until 2015.

Beer drinkers

Not only will beer avoid the planned alcohol duty rise, but there will actually be a cut in duty of a penny a pint. Going by the cheers in Parliament at that news, I'd guess the MPs' staff bar pulls a decent pint.


The chancellor declared his intention to fix the housing market "in a dramatic way" and his announcements will cheer aspiring first-time buyers and up-sizers alike.

The house-building industry may also be raising a glass (presumably of beer, not wine) as it emerged that the government will commit £3.5bn over the next three years to shared equity loans for new-build homes.

In addition, the government is going to offer a mortgage guarantee scheme to help all aspiring homeowners with small deposits, according to the chancellor. He claimed that this will 'dramatically increase' the availability of mortgages for this group.


As if high fuel costs and pot-hole damage wasn't bad enough, fuel duty was set to rise by around 3p a litre in September. However, the chancellor has scrapped that hike in this Budget.

Lowest paid

The Lib Dems almost looked happy again as George revealed he was bringing forward plans to raise the threshold at which workers start to pay tax. From 2014, no-one will pay income tax on the first £10,000 of their salary.

That means that almost three million of the country's lowest paid workers won't pay any income tax.


A new 'employment allowance' will cut the first £2,000 off every single employer's National Insurance bill. Clearly that's going to make very little difference to bigger corporations, but it's a welcome boost for small businesses looking to increase their staff. According to Osborne, it means that one-third of all employers in the country will pay no job tax at all.

The losers

Ok, now for the bad Budget news. Brace yourselves:

Public sector workers

The poor old public sector will have winced as the chancellor confirmed departmental spending cuts of £11.5bn rather than the planned £10bn. Not only that, but the 1% pay-rise cap for public sector employees has been extended for an extra year, meaning state employees won't see much relief from inflation until after 2016.

Good news for the forces, though, as the military are to be exempt from this freeze.

Tax avoiders

Tax evasion is a crime but tax avoidance isn't - yet. Today Osborne thundered: "This government is not gonna let you get away with it!" and revealed plans for a new package of measures to clamp down on evasion and avoidance; supposedly bringing in an estimated extra £4.6bn in extra revenue over the next five years.

Drinkers who aren't so keen on beer

While the cut in duty on beer will be a welcome relief to pubs, the news wasn't so fantastic for anyone who prefers wine, spirits, or a glass of Old Etonian (that's a gin-based cocktail with orange bitters and Creme de Noyaux, if you're interested).

The planned rise in alcohol duty will go ahead on everything except beer. Best learn to love bitter.


There was no mention of smokers during the Budget speech, but they shouldn't think they've got off lightly. Tobacco duties remain unchanged, meaning prices will continue to rise by inflation plus 5%.

The economy

Ok, it may look like the good news outweighs the bad news, but the economic news was particularly serious. The chancellor had to admit that the Office of Budget Responsibility had downgraded its 2013 output forecast for the country.

Where it had predicted 1.2% growth, it's now suggesting we'll see growth of just 0.6% - hardly suggesting the country is powering out of recession. This is likely to hit our pockets for some time to come. Not only that, but borrowing will be around £61.5bn higher than planned. £61.5bn. We're not out of the woods by a long shot.

Rowdy MPs

Finally, MPs on both sides of the house tend to get a little over-excited during important announcements and today was no different. But the deputy speaker quelled them with a furious: "Panto season isn't for another nine months, so please take your auditions outside!"

Can't help but wonder if he'd practised that in the mirror last night…

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Will George Osborne's Budget boost the economy? Will it affect you? Let us know on Twitter or join the debate on Covered Mag’s Facebook page. - we love a rant, we do.