A couple of rare pieces of good news were announced by the Chancellor as he delivered his 2013 Budget this week.
The first announcement that many will cheer at was the news that there will be a cut in alcohol prices. A proposed 3p rise in alcohol duty tax has been scrapped and the price of a pint of beer is to be cut by 1p.
Further good news came when Mr Osborne told that, as well as scrapping next month’s planned beer tax rise; he will not be implementing the expected 3p rise in fuel duty originally planned for September.
First time buyers will also be celebrating after today’s Budget; a £130bn mortgage guarantee scheme has been announced that will help people without big deposits buy homes, and interest-free loans worth 20% of the value of a new build property have also been promised.
Probably the only other good news announced by the Chancellor today was that the planned rise in the income tax personal allowance is being brought forward to 2014. From next year no income tax will be paid by anyone on the first £10,000 of their earnings.
The overall picture painted by the Chancellor may not be seen as a good one though. It was revealed that growth forecasts had been halved this year – down from 1.2 per cent to just 0.6 per cent.