Budget 2012 - 50p Tax Cut To 45p, Personal Tax Allowance Up By £1100

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George Osborne has delivered his 2012 Budget to the Commons, and as expected the 50p top rate of tax is being cut to 45p, a measure which will come into effect a year from now.

"We are earning our way out of trouble," the Chancellor said at the conclusion to his speech, insisting that the top rate of tax - introduced by the last government - had only encouraged tax avoidance and raised less than a third of the amount previously expected.

The chancellor also performed a major U-turn on cuts to child benefits for middle-incomes.

Rather than taking benefits away from any household with someone earning just over £40,000, the rate at which benefits begin to be cut is raised to £50,000 - and it won't be an automatic cut, rather it will escalate depending on earnings, with the entire benefit only being taken away from someone earning £60,000.

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Ed Miliband described it as "the millionaires' Budget of 2012", saying the government had the wrong priorities by cutting taxes for the rich.

This Budget was possibly the most leaked in history, and amazingly no-one at Westminster seems at all surprised by this.

Below is our rolling coverage, where we'll update in real-time the speech as it happens, the reaction and the analysis.


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