The Budget: What you want the chancellor to deliver

George Osborne will reveal his first Budget on Tuesday. He has said that 'All parts of society are going to make a contribution'. What will the Budget mean for you?

Here a range of people from across the UK share their hopes and fears about the forthcoming Budget.

Read their reaction after hearing the Budget


Gerald Costello, aged 48, is married with two children aged eight and six. He co-owns a colour printing company in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire that has an annual turnover of £2.8 million. The company has been going for 12 years and employs 32 people.

"The last few years have been difficult. We've felt the effects of globalisation and changing technology. Our staff, my business partner and I took a 10% pay cut last year in order to survive the recession. It hit our staff hard, but we all recognised we wouldn't still be in business if we hadn't taken the cut.

There's a lot of nervousness surrounding this budget. In the real world of private business things aren't good - we're still not seeing the green shoots of recovery. We have no staff pension scheme for our employees as we can't afford it. There are thousands of small to medium firms like ours in the same situation.

So far it feels as though the average worker in companies like these are taking the hits, while the public sector has remained immune. I expect there to be cuts in this budget because we know the fiscal position of the country isn't good. If there is a tax rise in VAT to 20% we'll just have to go along with it.

I'm not a traditional Conservative voter but I believe this coalition is the right team to make the cuts and I'm prepared to take a hit personally. I pay personal tax and corporation tax, but I want those taxes used wisely. We need to look hard at things like the social security budget and the universality of child allowance and child tax credits to families earning £50,000 have to be reassessed. People like me don't need child allowance, it shouldn't be universal. The Labour government was paying £250 to every new child. I don't need it; it needs to be means tested and given to someone who does need it.

Tangible savings must be made but there are people who need protecting so the cuts mustn't be done with an axe, but rather a scalpel. Lowest earners shouldn't take the biggest hits and the NHS and Education should be ring fenced.

As a businessman the worry is if they reduce spending power too much it could drive us back into recession just as we're crawling our way out. If the cuts are too swingeing on people of average incomes and below then that could harm the economy. The cuts need to protect the people at the bottom end, whether they're in the public or private sector.

There are lots of people in the civil service on good middle incomes with good pensions and I'm sure there are 100s of millions that can be saved by reviewing how this is done. The public sector has to bear the brunt of cuts, they can't go on getting their 2% and 3% annual pay increases while the private sector cuts pay in order to survive."


Simon Gooding is 42 and lives in north Devon with his wife and children aged six, four and two. He stopped working when he and his wife had their first child and now looks after their three children while his wife works as a manager for a local housing association.

"These cuts are scary for families like ours. There are a lot of men like me who used to work in north Devon who have stopped work and now look after the children as our wives have better jobs and we get the family benefits that help us survive. We are now entering daunting times and it's scary.

My wife earned £14,000 last year, when we add on child benefit, working tax credits and housing benefit our total income comes to just under £26,000. We have no credit cards, we don't spend unless we have the money but we do manage to exist on it.

We always wanted to have a typical, traditional family like my parents and so always planned that one of us would stay at home to look after them.

I worked in industry as a specialist wood machinist. A lot of industry has moved out of north Devon and the company changed hands and let a lot of staff go. When my wife and I talked about who would stay at home with the children my wife's job was the most secure and because she works for a housing association it also came with a house that we pay rent to the housing association for, so it made sense for me to look after the children.

I've always worked so it was very daunting to step away from my job, but we felt it was 100% the right thing for our children and our family.

I want to hear George Osborne say that people like us from low wage, low employment areas won't have cuts to the benefits we've been used to. I don't want housing benefit, family tax credits, child allowance or free nursery places to be cut. I do want them to be means tested, so the people who need them get them.

If you take away our benefits we are only on £14,000 a year. I think there are probably people further up the pay scale getting similar benefits to us, so any cuts will affect us more as our base salary is so low. We are just worried they will pull the rug out from under our feet and leave us financially freefalling.

At the moment I have one child in nursery funded for 15 hours per week and I have a two-year-old who will be going to nursery next year. If they cut free nursery places my son will have to leave nursery and my two-year-old won't go at all.

There are lots of families where the children are in nursery so both the parents can work. If they have to pay for nursery places one parent will probably have to give up work as all they would be doing is working to pay for the nursery, which makes no sense.

David Cameron has taken a pay cut but he's still earning over £140,000 per year and will be asking us on £14,000 to take a cut. I think politicians should set an example and review how much they are paid and say 'we'll suffer with the rest of you'.

I also think there has been a lot of money wasted on mismanagement. You speak to nurses and it's always the administration and managerial side that seems to be growing. In every area there seem to be pockets of financial wastage.

It's good that we give lots of money in aid but I think things are so bad we should be saying we have to cut these expenditure areas too, even though in an ideal world we'd rather not."


William Moonie from Denny, Stirlingshire, is 55 and retired from the fire service nearly two years ago.

"I'm extremely worried that my fire service pension will be cut. Before I retired my pension was changed to give me lower payments. New recruits have an even lower pension provision yet still more cuts are demanded.

We constantly hear about "gold-plated" public sector pensions but I resent those comments and don't think it's fair to compare public and private sector deals. Few people realise that people in the fire service pay 11% into their pension pots, very few private sector pensions pay in as much.

I worked alongside a private sector firefighter who worked on an industrial plant. He got paid much more than I did and worked fewer hours. Until recently they had a non-contributory pension. Even now they only have to pay 1% yet I am told that it's the public sector workers who need to come into the real world.

I understand there are differences between private and public sector pensions. If the stock markets are performing badly then their pensions may be adversely affected but is it fair that everyone should get punished?

I find this kind of talk and the constant pressure on our pensions demeaning. I am proud of my 30 years' service as a fireman but now I feel like no-one seems to value the work I did. Cutting the pension further will only demoralise the current workforce.

Looking at the current economic climate and events in Greece, it's clear that there will have to be cuts. During my time at work I saw a huge growth in middle and senior management and I would like to see some cuts made there. I saw a huge amount of money wasted on consultants.

I have two grandchildren and I fear for their future education and the state of the health service. Going to university has become very expensive and I worry that the idea of free schools could be a stepping stone to privatisation. If people need to pay for university then a graduate tax would be much fairer. After all if we can't have a healthy and educated country, then what's the point?"


Derek Brabrook is 47 and lives in Carmarthen with his wife, daughter and three stepchildren aged between two and 18.

"I lost my job through redundancy when the first wave of the recession hit the country back in late 2008. I am a highly skilled and vastly experienced IT consultant with many years of work behind me. When the recession hit it was like watching the tide go out on the jobs front. Jobs advertisements coming into my email inbox went from 15 - 20 jobs per day to zero in a matter of weeks and stayed that way for several months.

It has picked up a little within the last six months but hasn't returned to its pre-recession days.

I'm concerned about local government cuts. My wife works in a local school as the curriculum support officer. We have had to tighten our belts considerably and we are barely managing. If she were to lose her job it would be extremely bad news for us.

I am one of those people who doesn't show up on the unemployed figures because I was self employed for 16 years. I am not entitled to unemployment benefit because of the type of national insurance contributions I was paying for all of those years self-employed.

I'm also worried about any cuts that would further depress the job market. There are very few jobs in my specialised field and I don't want to see things get worse.

Many local companies have shut down and when jobs come up now they only seem to be in the major cities. Since I have been unemployed we can't afford to move, so it's become a Catch-22 situation.

One of the things that would make my life better would be more investment in high-tech industries in rural areas".


Nicola Spencer from Manton, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, is 35 and has two children aged 10 and seven. She currently receives income support but is looking for work.

"I don't work at the moment but as the law is changing this year and I will no longer receive income support from next January, I am planning to find a job.

I haven't worked for 10 years. I used to work as a nanny but I couldn't continue that career once I had my own children and my partner was working at the time so it wasn't an issue. We later split up and from then on I had to rely on benefits.

I receive income support, child tax credits and child benefit. When you add them all together I get about £150 - £160 a week. I use the weekly income support payments to pay for all the household expenses: food, shopping, gas and electric, while the monthly child benefit goes towards the children's shoes, clothes and school uniforms.

I'm very worried that child benefit will be cut or changed to only pay for children under 13. I rely on that extra money and would really struggle without it. It would mean that I would have to pay for everything out of the weekly income support and that would be tough.

As a single parent I don't want my kids not to be able to do the same things outside school their friends do. At the moment they go to Scout and Beavers. They both do swimming, my daughter does dancing and my son plays football.

I also try to take them on holiday once a year. We don't go abroad and I have just bought a tent so we can make going away a bit cheaper. I don't want them to feel like they are missing out just because it's the three of us.

We do get some extra help in the way of free school meals and my daughter is learning the keyboard and gets free music tuition. I think we may get some help with uniforms when they go to comprehensive school.

The country is in debt so cuts need to be made and we all need to accept that things will change. I think child benefit should be means tested. At the moment everyone gets it and I think there should be a limit on households who earn over £30 - £40,000. Do they really need that extra money and do they depend on it the same way I do?

Looking for work again will be a scary prospect - especially the thought of interviews, but it's also quite exciting. I have already been looking but I will need to find a job that fits around my children's school times. There are very few of them and it seems like every mother in the country is looking for the same thing! I would especially welcome more opportunity to work flexible hours and do job shares.

I also think there are a lot of people on benefits who don't really want to work. Manton is a former pit village which once had a very proud community but now there is a lot of unemployment here. I don't want to tar all teenagers with the same brush but there is a younger generation that has never known what it is like to work and some are quite happy with that.

There are also some adults who just don't want to work. I know of people who have huge families, perhaps with seven or eight children and just rely on the state because they could never find a job that would pay the same as their benefits."


Sally Karpik

Sally Karpik, who works for a local authority in Hereford, is 52 and lives with her 18-year-old daughter.

"I have only been working in local government for a couple of years and work part time. I only earn around £10,000 a year and pay about 6% of that into my pension. My pension will not be overly generous so I'm very concerned about any further cuts to it.

We have always been encouraged by government to make provision for our old age but I'm beginning to wonder if it's still worthwhile. If pensions are cut further, would it be better to redirect that money towards fuel and food costs?

If you want to reform pensions then why not means-test them? Then no-one gets a state pension if they don't need it. The government could also do the same with child benefit, winter fuel allowances, and free TV licences and bus passes for pensioners. That way only those who really need benefits will be eligible for them.

I'd love to work more but there are very few full-time jobs available where I live. My local authority has already cut back and it's hard to see where further savings can be made without affecting frontline services.

Local authorities throughout the country can of course make efficiencies. I sometimes wonder why we have so many different initiatives. Does every council need a cycling training officer? I know it's important but can't the parents teach children how to ride safely?

I have to drive to work as there's no suitable public transport and consequently I am worried about an increase in fuel prices. The cost of fuel has a knock on effect on other things like food prices. A VAT rise will also hit the poorest people hardest.

My daughter is finishing her A-levels soon and hoping to get an apprenticeship with an accountancy firm. I know that some job schemes for young people have already been cut. There will be a lot of competition for places and the local employment market is very depressed."