George Osborne pledged to share the benefits of economic recovery with pensioners and savers today as he delivered his penultimate Budget before the general election.
The Chancellor unveiled radical reforms to tax rules on retirement pots and new-style flexible ISAs where people can save up to £15,000 without the Treasury taking a cut, and he pushed up the personal income tax allowance to £10,500 next year.
Hailing the success of the coalition's austerity programme, Mr Osborne said UK plc would grow by a better than forecast 2.7% in 2014 and the government would be back in surplus by 2018-19.
Here's a breakdown of his main points:
:: Personal tax allowance to be raised to £10,500 next year; £800 average savings
:: Higher rate threshold for 40p income tax to rise from £41,450 to £41,865 next month and then by further 1% to £42,285 next year
:: Transferable tax allowance for married couples to rise to £1,050
:: 15% stamp duty on homes worth more than £500,000 bought through companies
:: Inheritance tax waived for emergency services personnel who "give their lives protecting us"
:: VAT waived on fuel for air ambulances and inshore rescue boats
:: Fuel duty rise planned for September cancelled
PENSIONS AND SAVINGS
:: All tax restrictions on pensioners' access to pension pots removed and tax on cash removed on retirement cut from
55% to 20%
:: Reform of taxation of defined contribution pensions to help 13 million people from March 27
::: Abolition of 10p starting rate of tax on income from savings
:: GDP growth forecast to be 2.7% this year, then 2.3%, 2.6%, 2.6% and 2.5% in following years - making UK economy £16 billion bigger than predicted.
:: Deficit revised down to 6.6% this year, and forecast to fall in following years before going into surplus of 0.2% in 2018/19
:: Borrowing expected to be £108 billion this year - £12 billion less than forecast
:: Debt revised down to 74.5% of GDP this year; then predicted to peak at 78.7% in 2015/16 and fall to 74.2% by 2018
:: OBR forecasts 1.5 million more jobs over the next five years and earnings to grow faster than inflation
:: Welfare cap set at £119 billion for 2015/16, rising to £127 billion by 2018/19, only state pension and cyclical unemployment benefits excluded
:: £7 billion package to cut energy bills includes £18 per ton cap on carbon price support, saving medium-sized manufacturers £50,000 and families £15 a year
:: Compensation scheme for energy intensive industries extended four years to 2019/20; £1 billion to protect manufacturers from cost of green levies
:: Tobacco duty to rise by 2% above inflation
:: Alcohol duty escalator scrapped
:: Duty on spirits and ordinary cider frozen. Beer duty cut by 1p a pint
:: Duty on fixed-odds betting terminals increased to 25%
:: Bingo duty halved to 10%.
:: 20% tax relief for theatre productions
:: £270 million guarantee approved for the Mersey Gateway bridge.
:: Support to build 200,000 homes.
:: Additional £140 million made available for repairs and maintenance to flood defences
:: Business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances in enterprise zones extended for three more years
:: Research and development tax credit for loss-making small businesses raised from 11% to 14.5%
:: Annual investment allowance doubled to £500,000 and extended to the end of 2015