The Budget: Your comments

George Osborne has unveiled the biggest package of tax increases and spending cuts in a generation.

Here a range of people from across the UK reveal how the Budget will affect them.

Read what they thought before 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.

"On the whole I think George Osborne pulled a rabbit out of a hat.

We all knew that 20% VAT was coming. I still have concerns that it will hit consumer spending, but that remains to be seen.

Working tax credit will now only be paid to families earning £40,000 and under. I think he could have gone further. I think there are a lot of people who will be breathing a sigh of relief. I welcome the three year freeze on child benefit; that'll have year on year savings.

From a business point of view I'm pleased to see corporation tax will have a 1% year on year reduction, going from 28p in the pound to 24p in the pound. Anything that helps owners reinvest profits and remain competitive is great.

I'm also pleased that tax for the lowest earners will be protected and the income tax threshold has risen by £1,000.

I'm not too pleased the Civil List has been frozen while everyone else is taking a cut. Symbolically a small cut may have been prudent.

I'm concerned about changes to Disability Living Allowance. My brother has Multiple Sclerosis and will be part of the re-assessment. I hope they protect people like him who genuinely need these allowances - although I do welcome more stringent assessments as there are undoubtedly people not working who can work.

Mr Osborne shied away from cutting public sector pensions with a review by a former Labour minister, which was a disappointment. A two year pay freeze on public sector sector salaries over £21,000 is OK, but since a lot of people in the private sector have had pay cuts I think people on higher incomes within the public sector could have had higher cuts to their salaries."


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.

"The Chancellor covered a lot of ground and I think it will take a few months for us to truly see how we are affected as a family. At the moment it looks as though things will stay the same until the 20% VAT kicks in, although most of our money goes on children's clothes and food which are still exempt.

I would have liked child benefit to be means tested and not frozen as we spend our child benefit on our children; we don't save it the way wealthier families do. So with the 20% VAT rise we may take a hit on that.

My wife earns £14,000 so hopefully we'll get income tax relief on an extra £1,000 of her salary which might help - we'll have to wait and see.

I think our housing benefit should still be OK too, as it's with the local housing association and doesn't hit the new limit.

To be honest I'm breathing a bit easier than I was. He also doesn't seem to have said anything about nursery funding so hopefully that will continue for us too.

It's also good there's no rise in council tax, although there is also a worry over what this means for the standard of services offered by the councils.

Not increasing the duty on fuel is good too - that's another expenditure for us. Whether that changes in the autumn budget remains to be seen.

I know the Queen has a lot of money, but I think the Civil List freeze shows she's in this with us. She's had no increase for over 20 years and still isn't taking a rise. Even though she has loads of money it's a good gesture.

They are still honouring overseas aid funding and perhaps people who work in the public sector who may lose their jobs in the 25% cuts would have wanted to see that money spent in the UK.

Overall, our income seems to place us in the areas they're not cutting. We'll have to see how that develops but hopefully we can breathe a sigh of relief."


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

"If public sector budgets are cut by 25% then frontline services must be affected and there will have to be job losses. I worked in the fire service and the majority of the budget was used on staffing, so a 25% cut means jobs will have to go.

I also can't believe the Chancellor's prediction that unemployment will peak at 8.9%. I think it'll be higher as both the public and private sector will have job losses. That will mean a lot of people looking for work, along with the addition of single parents whose children are at school being made to look for work. Where are the new jobs to come from?

I think it's good that the highest salary in the public sector can only be 20 times the lowest salary. There should be a relationship between the top and the bottom in both the public and private sector.

I have a public service pension and linking that to be in line with the consumer price index rather than the retail price index means my pension will be slightly lower, so I'm a pensioner taking a cut.

Restoring the link with the basic state pension and earnings is a good move, but lower income pensioners will be hit hard by the VAT increase and housing benefit changes.

It doesn't affect me, but freezing child benefit and cutting back on housing benefit is hitting the poor quite hard, especially when you compare it to what the chancellor is doing for the rich with capital gains tax. Yes, he has done something about tax loopholes but there are still a myriad of tax avoidance possibilities for the wealthy. No mention of non doms, for example.

I'm happy that he hasn't hit fuel tax and that he has cut corporation tax for small businesses to encourage growth. I'm also happy that he has decided to work with Europe on the banking levy, rather than going it alone which would just have seen the banks move overseas.

I wouldn't have minded if he'd hit alcohol and cigarettes with higher duty and I'm surprised he reversed the tax on cider.

Stopping support for the video games industry will hit Scotland as we have a large sector of that industry here and that will be a worry for unemployment.

Bringing in another medical for Disability Living Allowance is good on one hand as there are people who shouldn't get it, but on the other hand there are people who really need it. I play chess with someone who has muscular dystrophy, I have to lift the chess pieces for him as he can't even do that, but he still gets called in and questioned over and over again about whether he can work. I worry he'll be put under even more pressure."


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

"The only thing that will definitely affect us as a family is the rise in VAT.

As long as the cost of living doesn't go up too much we won't really feel a huge difference in the three year freeze on child benefit. Hopefully by then I'll also have a job.

Inevitably more people will become unemployed with the 25% cuts in the public sector. I'm hoping education will be OK as my wife works in that area. But until I know there is something worth worrying about I'm not going to worry.

The rise in VAT will also affect fuel prices and that will be an increased cost for us as we live in a very rural area where the bus service is patchy at best. It's not regular enough to use to go to and from work, so we have no choice but to use the car. It'll have quite a big impact on us, even though we just have a small run-about.

To be honest, a lot of the areas he cut were long overdue to be cut. I think there has been a lot of waste in the public sector - I saw it when I worked for the public sector as an IT contractor.

The country is in debt and the cuts are needed. I think everyone will feel the pinch and that's not a bad thing. It'll bring people back down to earth as lots of people have been living beyond their means.

I'm also glad he's got rid of some of the stupid taxation Labour brought in such as the broadband tax.

Overall I thought it was pretty fair. The money has to come from somewhere and it wasn't a shock as we'd been spoon-fed what to expect beforehand."


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'm surprisingly quite pleased as child benefit has only been frozen; they haven't cut the age bracket.

Both my children are at school and my youngest is seven so under the current guidelines I would have had to start working soon anyway, so I'm already looking for a job which means the new rule that single parents have to work when their youngest starts school won't really affect me.

The increase in VAT to 20% is quite scary. If child benefit is frozen and VAT is going up the real cost of things will go up, so that is a scary thought. It seems a big rise from 17.5% to 20%.

It means some things will have to be cut. We don't have a lot of luxuries but even these very few will have to be cut back and I'll have to re-look at everything we spend.

Even though it's exempt from VAT basic things like food shopping already seems to have gone up so much anyway.

It's not clear what exactly will be cut in the 25% public spending cuts but it will undoubtedly put more people out of work and so will make it harder to get a job. There already aren't many jobs around and the more people who are unemployed the harder it will be to find one.

I'm also concerned at what a 25% cut will mean for the services that are provided, as a lot of those will also be cut back.

Even though he is instating a bank levy it does seem like the ordinary people are paying for the bank's mistakes.

I live in a council house and do receive housing benefit but I think the changes should be OK as in the area where we live it's not hard to find a council house that comes under the £400pw limit that's been set. In other areas rent is quite high, so people may have to pay out of their own pocket.

I get child tax credit and I'm happy there will be a rise. If and when I find a job I don't expect to earn over £40,000 so I would probably still qualify for working tax credits.

Overall I think they've tried to even out the pain. It looks like everyone is having to cut back but any cut always seems to affect the poor more than the rich."


Sally Karpik

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

"Overall I was surprised by how ok it was. VAT has gone up which isn't great but tax allowances have gone up too which hopefully gives some balance.

I am confused about the public sector pay rise for workers earning less than £21,000. The chancellor said £250 each year for two years - that's more than the annual increment I was expecting, so if that's really the case it's surprisingly generous.

Cutting public sector budgets by 25% is an awful lot, especially over a five year period. It absolutely can't be done without cutting jobs and services.

I work in adult social care. My own job is already under threat from ongoing belt tightening. Everyone at work thinks 'Is my job going to be next?' whenever there's talk of reductions.

The VAT increase will have an impact but I don't fritter away a lot of money so it shouldn't affect me as much as others who do.

The rise in the income tax allowance for people on the basic rate of income tax will be very handy. It's slightly spoiled by the Lib Dem policy of raising the threshold to £10,000, as now you have that figure in your head!

By and large the budget does seem fair, although I'm concerned about the Disability Living Allowance changes as there is already a medical and it seems to play to the view that people are faking it when there are lots of people in genuine need.

The budget was talked up as being really savage, but it doesn't look that bad, to be honest. Pay freezes aren't great but it could be worse."