George Osborne announced the 2015 financial budget today. There were many interesting points in particular the belief that the country is ‘walking tall again’ after struggling post-recession. He remained positive suggesting the economy will increase by 2.5% this year compared to a previous estimate of 2.4%.
Some of the changes suggested may not come into play until after the general election in May, and will depend on a victory by the Conservatives.
Fuel duty frozen so that falling oil prices are passed on to the consumer, saving approximately £10 per full tank of fuel.
For company car tax there was a planned increase but at a slower rate than previously planned, particularly for low-emission, or green vehicles.
The Severn road crossing: from 2018 the Severn crossing toll will be abolished (the bridge on the M4 between England and Wales).
There will be a £100 million investment in autonomous cars in the UK, to ‘stay ahead in the race to driverless technology’.
Investment in autonomous cars is welcome news after the mention of investment in the Autumn Statement last year.
Apprenticeships also received a mention, with praise from Mr Osborne. He explained there had been an increase of over 50% of apprenticeship programmes during his time as chancellor. This is good news for the motor industry where there are numerous opportunities for apprentices.
It was announced that although Vehicle Excise Duty is to remain the same, there will be an overhaul in 2017 because it is expected that under the current system three quarters of cars would be exempt by this point.