A £200m fund for local authorities to tackle potholes forms part of the Budget announcement.

Chancellor George Osbourne said local authorities will be able to apply for funding to improve roads.

It comes after Kirklees Council cut £1.4m from its road repair funding due to budget pressures.

The Budget gave savers a boost with the promise of a more “generous” tax-free ISA and a million new “pensioner bonds”.

The amount workers earn before tax will also go up by £500 to £10,500.

The Chancellor froze petrol duty, cut bingo tax from 20% to 10%, froze Scotch whisky and cider duty and cut a further 1p from a pint of beer - but put the price of cigarettes up 2%.

Other key Budget announcements include:

Scrapping VAT on air ambulance services and inshore rescue boats.

Scrapping inheritance tax for members of the emergency services who “give their lives protecting us”.

A five-year cap on structural welfare spending from 2015, starting at £119bn and rising in line with inflation, it excludes pensions and Job Seekers Allowance.

Threshold for 40p income tax to rise from £41,450 to £41,865 next month and by a further 1% to £42,285 next year.

Cash and shares ISAs to be merged into single New ISA with annual tax-free savings limit of £15,000 from 1 July. Junior ISA limit to rise to £4,000

From Autumn 2015, tax-free childcare will cover 20% of working families’ childcare costs up to a limit of £10,000 a year. This will help 490,000 children in working families in Yorkshire and Humber with 25 hours of childcare a week for a child under two saving on average £940 a year.

Plans for 200,000 new homes nationally.

The Chancellor said: “This is a Budget for building a resilient economy. If you’re a maker, a doer or a saver this Budget is for you.”

A £7bn package was announced to cut energy bills - predicted to save medium-sized manufacturers £50,000 and families £15 a year.

Plus there is £1bn for energy-intensive firms to compensate them for green levies on their bills.

A business rate discount was also announced, but no details were given of how much.

And a 12-sided £1 coin is to be introduced in 2017 to combat counterfeit coins - around one in 30 £1 coins are said to be counterfeit.

Bingo players, beer drinkers and business bosses were among the winners in Chancellor George Osborne’s penultimate Budget before the next general election.

A reduction in the duty on bingo clubs from 20% to 10% – exceeding the industry’s campaign call for a 5% reduction – was among the highlights along with a 1p cut in beer duty and a raft of measures aimed to helping savers, homebuyers, manufacturers and exporters.

Sam Watt, licensee at The Star Inn, Lockwood, said the 1p cut in beer duty – along with a freeze on duty for whiskey, spirits and ordinary cider and the scrapping of the alcohol duty escalator – was a positive move to support struggling local pubs and breweries. But she said: “Costs for fuel, transport and ingredients are not falling and we still need to tackle the sale of cheap alcohol in supermarkets.”

Huddersfield licensee Sam Watt, of the Star Inn at Folly Hall, welcomes budget news.
Huddersfield licensee Sam Watt, of the Star Inn at Folly Hall, welcomes budget news.
 

Officials at the Elland-based Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) hailed the “excellent” news that VAT will be waived on air ambulances and inshore rescue boats.

YAA chairman Peter Sunderland said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear the news that the Chancellor will be relieving the 5% VAT that we currently pay on our fuel. This will mean that as a charity, we will be saving around £7,000 per year. This money can now be used to help fund the running of both of our life-saving helicopters. It costs £9,990 per day to keep both of the helicopters in the air and helping to save lives and we are delighted with this extra bit of support from the government.”

Petrol retailer Bernard Stern, of Paddock-based C&J Stern (Oils) Ltd, said the decision to freeze fuel duty was a positive move. “It is always welcome when we don’t have an increased in fuel duty – and the Chancellor still has a chance to reduce duty in the Autumn Statement or in next year’s Budget,” he said. “Keeping the car on the road is one of the biggest items of expenditure and transport costs affect commuters on public transport as well as those in cars. It also adds to costs right across the economy, so any freeze is welcome.”

Alex McNeil, of estate agency Bramleys in Huddersfield, said the housing market was already benefiting from the previously-announced extension of Help to Buy and that the Budget had been “quite positive”. Help to get people onto the housing ladder had boosted the new house market, while builders offering part-exchange deals were providing a supply of secondhand properties, which were selling if competitively-priced. “There was nothing in the Budget to take us off the path to recovery,” said Mr McNeil.

Steven Leigh, head of policy at the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said Mr Osborne had acted on the major concerns of businesses, adding: “In general terms, he has put business at the heart of the Budget and is sticking to the task of reducing the deficit.”

The Budget had delivered good news for manufacturers, said Gary Smith, chairman of the Calderdale and Kirklees Manufacturing Alliance. He said: “The government is helping companies compete better by capping the Carbon Price Support for at least six years, which will save the larger energy using local manufacturers many thousands of pounds a year.

“Also, £3bn is being allocated to help promote exports, a key area where growth can take place. Mr Osborne is helping exporters with the reduction in Airport Passenger Duty soon, which will also benefit anyone who travels long haul.”

Construction and development specialist Southdale also welcomed measures to help housebuilding and apprenticeships. Paul Moore, group managing director of the Halifax-based firm, said: “The extension of the Help to Buy scheme to 2020 is good news for the construction sector as a whole, but to get the most from this, we need to see a resurgence in the supply chains, with suppliers of such materials as bricks producing more to cope with the demand”.

Lesley Sutton, tax director at Huddersfield chartered accountants Revell Ward, said: “George Osbourne’s Budget speech delivered more changes than initially expected. There were some nice surprises. However, for some of the announcements it will take time before we see the benefit or the real detail behind the headlines.”

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