A Response to the Budget
Commenting on the measures announced yesterday by the Chancellor George Osborne, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell said: "This has been a budget for growth and jobs. Despite having limited room for maneuver, the Chancellor has delivered a budget which is good for the people, businesses and communities of rural Scotland.
"Local incomes in Dumfries and Galloway are amongst the lowest in Scotland, but we have lifted many out of having to pay tax altogether. Thousands more will see a boost to their tax-free earnings. We have also provided new backing for businesses through cuts in corporation tax and the new National Loan Guarantee Scheme. This budget is good for growth, good for employment opportunities and potential, and good for the region."
An Overview of the Benefits in the Budget for Scotland:
• Personal Allowance increase to £9,205. This change will lift an additional 73,000 people in Scotland out of income tax and will be a tax cut for 2.1 million individuals. This Government will have lifted a total of 165,000 people in Scotland out of income tax altogether.
• Withdrawal of Child Benefit above income of £50,000. This decision will benefit 63,000 households in Scotland.
• Enhanced Capital Allowances. To support growth and investment, the Government has agreed to make 100 per cent capital allowances for plant or machinery investment available from 1 April 2012 at designated sites within enterprise areas in Scotland. The agreed sites are at Irvine, Nigg and Dundee, with Scottish Government assessments suggesting the potential to deliver more than 4,000 new jobs.
• Oil and Gas package. Oil and gas measures to secure additional investment in the UK Continental Shelf. The Government has announced a package of oil and gas measures that is expected to stimulate billions of pounds of additional investment and increase production in the UK Continental Shelf. This includes new contracts to provide long term certainty on decommissioning tax relief and changes to the field allowance regime, including increasing the amount and scope of the small field allowance and a new £3 billion field allowance for large and deep fields targeted at the West of Shetland region.
•Mobile Infrastructure Fund. In Scotland this will benefit the A82(T) between Inverness and Glasgow.
•Edinburgh has been selected as a ‘super-connected city’. The Budget confirms that Edinburgh will receive funding of up to £11 million to deliver ultra-fast broadband to up to 180,000 residents and 8,000 businesses and high-speed wireless connectivity to up to 486,000 residents in key areas.
•Commonwealth Games tax exemption. As announced in a joint statement with the Scottish Government on 26 January 2012, the Government will provide an exemption from UK taxation for money earned by non-resident athletes in relation to performance at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. This special exemption will prolong the Olympic legacy and help spread the long-term benefits into Scotland.
•VAT on cable-operated transport. A reduced rate of VAT of 5 per cent will apply to small cable-operated transport systems. This will benefit ski resorts across five sites in Nevis Range, Glencoe, Glenshee, Cairngorm and the Lecht.
•Barnett consequentials. Additional funding for the Scottish Government. As a result of spending decisions announced in the Budget, Scotland will benefit from an additional £20.3 million over the Spending Review Period.