Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown rose to deliver his ninth Budget statement at 12.30pm.
Mr Brown told MPs that the Budget was designed to maintain British stability and growth.
Mr Brown said he wanted to strike a balance between affordable tax cuts, essential investment and stability.
- Inflation is expected to be 1.75% this year and 2% in 2006 and beyond.
- Domestic demand forecast to grow by 3.25%-3.5% this year and 2.5%-3% in 2006.
- Growth in 2004 is 3.1%, as forecast.
- Growth this year is forecast to be 3%-3.5% and in 2006 2.5%-3%.
- There will be new rules to encourage incapacity benefit claimants into work and
reforms in housing benefit to help job creation.
- The Home Secretary Charles Clarke is today announcing targeted intervention for
young people at risk of offending in their school years.
- Some 7,800 civil service jobs will be relocated out of London and the South-East.
- The first #2 billion of value-for-money savings identified in the Gershon Review have been achieved.
- There will be no euro assessment in this Budget.
- The current public sector balance is minus-#16 billion and will then be minus-#6
billion, plus-#1 billion, plus-#4 billion, plus-#9 billion and plus-#12 billion in subsequent years.
- The Golden Fiscal Rule will be met by a margin of #6 billion.
- Mr Brown set aside an extra #400 million for defence expenditure.
- There will be a new 50-year long-term bond.
- To lessen the regulatory burden on business, there will be a new light-touch regime.
- In a major cutback of quangos, Mr Brown announced that some 35 agencies will be
combined to just nine.
- There will be year-by-year targets for every Government department to reduce the
burden on business.
- There will be single inspectorates for criminal justice, education and children's services, social care and health and local services.
- To address EU-inspired regulation, there will be new guidelines for the implementation of EU law in the UK.
- There will be a new national framework for stem-cell research.
- Mr Brown announced funds to ensure that by 2006, every school pupil has enterprise education.
- There will be new tax reliefs for low-budget and larger-budget films.
- Corporation tax and capital gains tax to be frozen.
- Freezes too on air passenger duty, insurance premium tax, climate change levy and company car tax.
- From Sunday, excise duty on a pint of beer to rise by 1p, a bottle of wine by 4p. Spirits duty frozen.
- From 6pm today, duty on a packet of cigarettes to rise by 7p.
- The inflation duty increase on fuel to be deferred until September 1.
- New measures to combat avoidance of capital gains tax, VAT and other taxes.
- New compensation payments for service personnel injured on duty.
- There will be a permanent memorial to the Queen Mother in The Mall.
- From midnight, the stamp duty threshold will be doubled to #120,000.
- The inheritance tax threshold will rise from #260,000 to #275,000 on April 6,
with further rises in successive years.
- The tax exemption on the first #7,000 of savings in individual savings accounts to be extended to 2010.
- Consultation on extending payments to child trust funds into primary and secondary school years.
- The pension credit will rise by 13% by 2008.
- In April, the personal income tax allowance will rise in line with inflation.
- Mr Brown said the Budget would involve this year "a modest fiscal tightening".
- During the coming Parliament, there will be 1 million new childcare places and paid maternity leave will rise to one year.
- From next year, the Government will offer help with early learning in every area for children who need it.
- There will be a building programme for primary schools.
- Over the next five years, total investment in primary schools will be #9.4 billion.
- Some 8,900 primary schools will be rebuilt or refurbished.
- Investment in the three-year programme for IT capital in schools will be raised to #1.67 billion.
- Mr Brown set a goal of education starting at age three and continuing until 18.
- Those in full-time education or training will be offered up to #75 a week in education allowances and benefits.
- There will be a #1.5 billion programme for renewing further education colleges.
- Direct payments to schools will rise each year to 2008 in England, with separate announcements to follow for other parts of the UK.
- A typical primary school will receive #31,000 in the coming year, while a typical secondary school will receive #98,500 next year, with further rises in subsequent years.
- Mr Brown said he will from today permanently abolish charges on pensioners during hospital stays.
- Every pensioner household paying council tax will receive a council tax refund of #200.
- Every community in the UK from next year will have free local bus travel for every pensioner and every disabled person.