Budget: How does it affect you? We spoke to three Bristol couples
'WE WILL HAVE MORE MONEY IN OUR POCKET'
GARETH Walling and Lorena Camacho run a stall on Bristol’s popular St Nicholas market and are looking to expand their baby clothes business using the internet.
The couple are also expecting their first baby this summer.
Despite the tough economic conditions Gareth, 32, was still pleased with the budget.
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He said: “On a personal level the increase in the personal allowance means that we will have more money in out pockets.
“But more importantly I think this budget was all about encouraging business in this country.
“The only way we are going to get out of this recession is by encouraging and helping businesses.
“Although we are a small business this will still have a direct impact on us.
“If you get the economy moving again then more people will have more money in their pocket to spend.”
Gareth added: “The government seems committed to getting the lowest paid back on to their feet and encouraging confidence across the nation so that shoppers start spending again.
“This is really important for small businesses like ours as many shoppers have been too worried since the recession to spend on anything other than what they feel is absolutely essential.”
'WHY ARE THEY PUNISHING PENSIONERS?'
THE budget announcement made grim listening for many pensioners across Bristol yesterday.
While Chancellor George Osborne said “no pensioner will lose in cash terms”, in real terms it means that around five million pensioners will be worse off.
Experts say the loss for existing pensioners will be £63 a year and £197 for new pensioners.
The announcement prompted Joanne Segars, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds, to say: “It is pensioners who are the biggest losers in today’s budget. This will come as a blow to millions of pensioners who have paid in to the tax system throughout their working lives.”
Harry Pepall, 85, who lives in Henbury with partner Jo Lambert, 75, said: “Why are they punishing pensioners? Why am I having to help get the economy back on song when others are not. We are, and should be, all in the same boat.
“As pensioners, we contribute to the economy. We go out for meals in groups but if we are penalised we will not go out so often so places we use suffer and jobs are lost.”
'WE WILL JUST HAVE TO BE MORE CAREFUL, LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE'
THE budget of “smoke and mirrors” has left a Downend family with money going into one pocket but disappearing from the other.
David Green, 31, is a mechanical engineer at a defence company, while his wife Laura, also 31, is a paediatric nurse working part-time while she looks after their children, Eloise, two, and Elliot, eight months.
George Osborne’s announcement has the couple feeling ambivalent about their financial future.
Mr Green said: “It would appear that I am slightly better off than I was going to be. I did stand to lose all of my child benefit because I am a higher rate taxpayer, but now I only lose some of it.
“They have increased my basic allowance so I will start to pay tax later. But they have lowered the higher rate threshold, so what I have gained at the bottom I have lost at the top.”
Mr Green car-shares 80 miles a day to his work near Tewkesbury and has real concerns about the plans to raise fuel duty by 3p in August.
He said: “That will put between £50 and £100 on my fuel bill over the year, so it will wipe out any benefits.”
But it is the changes to child benefits that have left the Greens confused. They have a household income of about £65,000 and are set to lose about 30 per cent of the benefit.
Mr Green said: “The threshold is between £50,000 and £60,000, and for every £100 you earn over £50,000 you lose one per cent. We will lose about 30 per cent, which is about £500 a year. Luckily for us it won’t have a major impact, it will just mean we have less disposable income in our pockets for the nice things in life. We will have to be more careful, like everybody else.”
Mr Green feels the Chancellor has complicated things and is worried about how the changes are going to be implemented, saying there are “lots of smoke and mirrors”.
The couple are also concerned about the potential impact the decision to bring in regional pay differences for public sector workers will have on Mrs Green’s income as a nurse.
But on the whole, Mr Green said: “I don’t think it makes us better or worse off than we are now.”