What the Budget could mean for you

Here are a few last minute ideas on just some of the possibilities and money saving tips that might emerge -

1. Stamp duty cut extended

Probably a no brainer; the Chancellor can't risk choking off the first glimmers of renewed activity in the housing market with a poison pill. If buyers have to fund stamp duty out of cash, instead of adding it in to their mortgage in the days when you could get a high loan to valuation mortgage, increased stamp duty becomes a critical barrier to buying.

2. Abolishing higher rate tax relief on pension contributions

Persistently rumoured, this change would be controversial, with critics suggesting that it could create a £160M loss to the Government, rather than pulling in an extra £1.7Bn. They might be right as higher rate earners look for alternative homes for their money. If this happens we may even see a drift away from saving money, a disaster for broader governmental ambitions to make us more self reliant. If you're potentially affected by the abolition you'll probably have until the end of this tax year at least to make contributions with relief, so you have plenty of time to plan and take advice. After that plan around your needs, not the tax breaks you can get.

3. Personal Allowances

The Lib Dems would like to see the threshold for personal allowances rise to £10,000 to give those on lower incomes a boost in their spending ability. With NI and the top marginal rate flagged to go up, or guess is that the Lib Dems will be disappointed....but not surprised.

4. Raising the ISA limits

As well as a rise in the cash limit, experts are arguing for raising the overall ISA limit, and allowing employers to make contributions, which along with some other proposals on how tax free cash is taken from pensions, could make ISAs a much stronger ally to pensions in encouraging a savings culture.

5. Tax credits for retraining

If you've been made redundant and retrain for a new job, you could get tax relief, and your employer might also get additional relief to give them an incentive to take on newly trained personnel. If you want to know more on how to save tax then listen carefully to the speech if it affects you.

6. Car scrapping incentive

Despite environmental concerns, this looks to be a near certainty at around £2000 per car. If you have an old car it might be worth hanging on to it for a little while until how the scheme works becomes clearer. Even if you don't trade it in, your car could become worth more on the second hand market as its next owner might benefit from the scheme.

7. Oh, and this won't happen

Alistair Darling won't wear a black tie when giving his speech - it'll be red. He'll also find it as hard as his boss for the word "sorry" to slip out in his speech!

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