Budget 2014: blow-by-blow

Posted on 19 Mar 2014 by The Manufacturer

TM gives extensive coverage of this year's budget from chancellor George Osborne. Refresh your browser for the latest updates.

Read the latest on the 2014 budget here as we take a look at industry reactions.

13.46 All getting a bit schoolyard for me. Time for lunch. This afternoon will have a lot of manufacturing focused, post-budget analysis. Feel free to tweet our account on @TheManufacturer with the #Budget2014 hashtag.

13.43 Miliband mocks the Tory rebrand as “the workers party.”

13.39 “You can change the shape of the pound, but you’ll still be £1600 a year worse off under the Tories.” Ouch.

13.37 Talk now of rebalancing the economy. “Manufacturing output has fallen” says Miliband, who also uses example of construction industry woes. Cites Osborne’s now infamous “march of the makers quote” and a recovery not working.

13.36 Like Gaby and no doubt many others, I’m also waiting for Miliband to talk about manufacturing…

13.31 And leader of the opposite Ed Miliband is up. Attacks the chancellor’s record on working people. Living standards all down to the tune of £1600 a year.

13.28 A lot of emphasis on a nation of savers.Manufacturing heavily promoted. “A budget for the makers, doers and the savers,” Osborne triumphantly concludes. “More!” chants the house. Like a Bruce Springsteen concert.

13.27 Abolition of 10 pence rate for savers. He seems chuffed with this one. 0% band doubled to £5,000 for saving income, apparently benefiting low income savers.

13.22 Launch of pensioner bond for over 65s from public funds. 2.8% for a one year bond and 4.8% for a three year bond. Up to 10m to be issued, resulting in a million pensioner bond. Cap of premium bonds also up for first time in decade, doubling number of million pound winners.


13.18 Moving on to workforce and skills. Tax reductions for the lowest earners. Threshold rising by 1% next year. Today’s personal allowance also extends to high tax payer above £42k up to £100k. All part of the long-term plan, says Osborne.

13.16 Scrapping alcohol escalator, which will rise with inflation except a few Duty for Scotch Whiskey and Cider makers in the West Country have duty frozen. Beer duty however is cut by 1 pence. Excellent news for the UK’s thriving alcohol industry. Let’s hope this extends to pubs. On the Whiskey though – another point of persuasion for the Scots to vote ‘No’?

13.12 Carbon rate froze at £18 per ton from 2016-17 for the next decade, as expected. Heavy energy makers such as energy and steel will also benefit from cuts, keeping them in the UK. New compensation worth £1bn to protect manufacturers from additional costs. Half of the firms benefiting most are in the north of England. “A government on the side of manufacturers in a Britain that makes things again,” he proclaims.

13.11 “To those who say manufacturing is finished in the West, I say look at America which will see 5m new jobs by end of decade.” Why? Energy, says Osborne. We need to cut costs. To do this? Promoting energy efficiency. The big one? £7bn package to cut energy bills for British manufacturers.

13.10 99.8% of businesses will get 100% investment allowance. Almost no businesses will pay investment tax up front.

13.09 R&D tax credit going up also from 11% to 14.5% for loss making businesses. Backing investment into social enterprises with relief of 30%.

13.07 Business tax now most competitive in Europe, says Osborne. Burdens on administration cut. Corporation tax now down to 21%, a fall from 28% when first put to office. £2,000 cashback on jobs.

13.07 Apprenticeship numbers doubled, giving money for 100,000 new apprenticeships. Also talks of award in tribute to late codebreaker Alan Turing, which he says shows he wants Britain to be top of the world in STEM.

13.06Talk moved on to STEM. Wants to develop Graphine in the UK.

13.06 But is this enough? UK infrastructure as a whole in need of some love. Look no further than the London Underground.

13.05 Britain has also underinvested for decades. Detailed plans of projects supported for rest of the decade, including high speed rail. Determined to take this further north. £270m guarantee for Mersey Gateway Bridge approved, while new tax and borrowing powers to be given to Welsh government to improve infrastructure needs including M4. Repairs and maintenance cash given for flood defences and road maintenance.

13.03 Talk moves to housing. When he said he wanted a nation of builders, he meant it.

13.02New allowance for ultra pressure fields in Oil & Gas to support sector. Also a help for the energy sector. North Sea a mature basin which has had its forecast tax receipts lowered. A reminder of how precarious independent Scotland would be, says the chancellor.

13.00 Cheaper flights also on agenda, so world can see Made in Britain.

12.59 Now onto the good stuff – manufacturing. While exports rising, Britain has to up its game. Reach and support of UKTI expanding, but firms can only win contracts if backed by competitive export finance. Britain last port of call, but this changes. Lending doubled to £3bn, interest rates cut by a third also. “Instead of having the least competitive export, we will have the most competitive,” Osborne concludes.


12.56 Manipulation is LIBOR rate also another abuse of system. Osborne wants to promote financial industries around the world. LIBOR finds extending to military and emergency charities, and now search and rescue and lifeboat services.

12.54 Osborne talking tough on tax avoidance. HMRC budget increased to tackle non-compliance, also tax debt recovery rates on the increase. Also “modern powers” to obtain unpaid tax. What are these exactly, George?




12.50 He does confirms there will be cuts however. A new charter for budget responsibility due in the Autumn. All to protect NHS and schools while reducing deficit. Defensive on government’s record.

12.49 “Economic gains will not be squandered, says Osborne. Taxes and spending are lowered. “Paying off the nation’s credit card” not wheeled out however. But “fixing the roof while the sun is shining” is.

12.47 The new “highly secure” £1 coin will be in circulation in three years. Seems to be getting the lions share of the pre-budget headlines…

12.46 Discussing the housing market.

12.41  Chancellor: “The OBR today forecast one and a half million more jobs over the next five years”

12.41 Osborne says employment rate higher than that of the United States for the first time in 35 years.

12.39 Osborne cites no advanced economy in the world is growing as fast as the UK. Recent stats do back this up. Cites biggest domestic risk as abandoning his own policy towards job creation.

12.35 “Manufacturing is growing again, and jobs are being created across the country.” Blames previous government for halving of manufacturing, saying Labour placed their bets too much on the city of London. Hopefully a very pro-manufacturing budget.

12.34 “A budget for makers, doers and savers.”

12.34 A rather slimline George Osborne is up. “Job far from done, still don’t invest enough, export enough or save enough.”

12.30 Backbench MP uses example of Bradford, which has 600 unfilled apprenticeship vacancies. Cameron says young people are leaving school with key qualifications and more needs to be done to explain what is available in terms of apprenticeships.

12.27 Nice cross party tribute to Tony Benn as PMQs concludes.




12.19 “Hard working families” gets a mention in PMQs. How many will it get in today’s budget? I’m going for “paying off the nation’s credit card” as a wildcard shout.

12.16 PMQ’s just rounding off.

12.09 James Pozzi checking in for the budget. What do people from the world of UK manufacturing wish to see? Let us know through our Twitter feed @TheManufacturer using the #Budget2014 hashtag.