Following five years of a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, chancellor George Osborne has said that "Britain is walking tall again” during the unveiling of the 2015 budget.
Of particular interest to marketers and agencies with alcohol brands, Osborne announced a 1p cut from the duty of a pint of beer. Furthermore, wine and fuel duty was frozen. Two per cent also came off of the price of cider, spirits and scotch whisky.
The chancellor also stated that it was time for the banks to “make a bigger contribution to the repair of our public finances”. As a result, the bank levy rate is to be raised to 0.21 per cent – a move estimated to raise an estimated £900m. Furthermore, banks will no longer be able to deduct from their corporation tax mis-sold PPI insurance compensation.
On tech, Osborne made announcements about internet of things (IoT) and automated cars investment.
A package to support IoT investment in the UK was revealed, prompting the chancellor to jibe: “Should someone have two kitchens they'll be able to control both fridges from the same mobile phone." Labour leader Ed Miliband came under fire earlier in the week for hosting a BBC film team in the smaller of two kitchens in his home.
On automated cars, Osborne also reasserted the country’s commitment to driverless technologies with a £100m investment, adding that he wants to the UK to lead the way globally with its championing of the technology.
Osborne announced he is to ease up on TV and film tax credits and issued a commitment to support the UK video game industry.
Local newspapers and the horse racing industry were also promised tax relief. On creative industry tax respites, he said: “Britain is a cultural centre of the world and with these tax changes I'm determined it will centre that way.”
Osborne concluded: “Five years ago I had to present to this house an emergency budget. Today I present the budget of an economy stronger in every way from the one we inherited.
"The share of national income taken up by debt - falling. The deficit down. Growth up. Jobs up. Living standards on the rise. Britain on the rise."
Following the announcement, Labour leader Miliband condemned Osborne's failure to mention the NHS and essential public services during his speech.