New national living wage tops Osborne's Budget announcement
UK chancellor George Osborne has announced a new national living wage and outlined £17 billion in cuts in this year's Budget.
A new national living wage and further spending cuts over the next five years are two of the key points announced in today's Budget 2015.
Chancellor George Osborne has announced a host of changes in what is the first Budget from a majority Conservative government in nearly two decades.
All workers aged over 25 will qualify for the new national living wage, set at £7.20 an hour from April 2016 and rising to £9 an hour by 2020. The initial figure is 70p higher than the current minimum wage, although that is due to increase by 20p in October this year.
Mr Osborne, who was delivering his seventh Budget as chancellor, spoke positively about the state of the UK economy, noting it grew by three per cent last year and is forecast to expand by 2.4 per cent in 2015, although this figure is 0.1 per cent lower than was predicted in March.
However, the government is poised to make more cuts as the country continues to recover from the global economic crisis, with £17 billion - £12 billion of welfare cuts and £5 billion in tax evasion prevention - announced by the chancellor today.
In his House of Commons speech, Mr Osborne described the UK economy as "fundamentally stronger than it was five years ago" and outlined the Conservatives' intention to "keep moving us from a low wage, high tax, high welfare economy; to the higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare country we intend to create".
Other changes outlined in the Budget include replacing maintenance grants for university students from low-income families with loans, cutting corporation tax to 18 per cent by 2020 and increasing the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million for married couples by 2017.
There is to be no change to fuel duty for the rest of 2015, while permanent non-dom status is to be removed, meaning anyone who has lived in the UK for 75 per cent of the past two decades will pay the same tax as other citizens.