George Osborne presents his 6th budget to Parliament – the last before the General Election
The budget announced by the Chancellor is clearly aimed at persuading voters to back the Conservatives in the upcoming General Election and has been described as “pretty empty” by Shadow Home Secretary, Ed Balls. At the same time, the latest unemployment figures have been released, so what does this mean for the job market and how will you be affected by the budget?
UK unemployment falls to 1.9M
To coincide with George Osborne’s sixth budget, unemployment figures were released to show the number of people out of work in the UK fell by 58,000 to 1.91M; the lowest level in the last six years. The more sceptical of you out there will certainly be forgiven for questioning the timing of these figures, which show that there are now 30.8M UK residents in work, as the race starts to gather pace between the major political parties.
The Government have also announced a rise in the minimum wage from £6.50 to £6.70 from October, positively affecting more than 1.4M workers with the hourly rate for younger workers / apprentices also rising. Obviously aimed at appealing to the younger voter, is this enough for the Conservatives to take full control of Government in May, or is there to be a complete change in leadership, with Labour tempting young voters with a promise of an increase to £8.00 per hour if they were to secure tenure of Numbers 10 and 11?
Oil & Gas and Science are the job sectors that will benefit the most from the budget
The importance of the Oil & Gas industry and the benefits it brings to the UK economy has been officially recognised by the Government with the introduction of increased investment in the North Sea, a new Investment Allowance and reduction of supplementary tax charge on oil and gas companies. They have also announced a reduction in the rate of Petroleum Revenue Tax paid on older oil and gas fields to 35% from 50%.
Instrumental in the provision of highly skilled jobs and energy security, the changes to this particular sector are expected to increase oil production over the next four years and drive multi billion pound investment at the same time. Also benefitting is Science and Innovation, which will receive a £140M investment, facilitating the world class research on the infrastructure and cities of the future. Additionally, there will be a further £40M invested into the information revolution.
Other budget benefits
If you are a first time buyer, you can expect a little help from the Government with the purchase of your new home individuals receiving £50 from the Government to every £200 saved – up to the maximum contribution of £3000 – in the form of a Help to Buy ISA. Additionally, the proposed fuel duty increase is to be cancelled, a penny will be taken off the cost of a pint and savers will be given complete freedom to take money out of an ISA and put it back later in the year.
The self employed will benefit from the abolishment of the annual tax return and an increase in the tax-free personal allowance from April 2017 to £11,000 with an initial rise to £10,800 next year. George Osborne said that the “sun was starting to shine” as the UK had the fastest growth in the G7 in 2014 and that the amount of UK debt was falling.
But is the future really as bright as the Chancellor suggests? Labour claim that the growth of the country in 2017 – 2018 will mirror those levels last seen in the 1930s with deeper than expected cuts planned, as the Conservatives have a number of ideas to bring down the welfare bill. But that these won’t be acted upon until voters have elected them to lead for another four years.
Employment remains a large concern for the UK economy as, despite the positive figures released yesterday, youth unemployment remains very high with the number of 16 – 24 year olds out of work has risen from 30,000 to 764,000. So what can you do to make sure the younger generation maximise their chances of securing a job role? If you have a school / college leaver or graduate at home, you could make an investment on their behalf in a new CV; ensuring the very best of who they are and what they have to offer is clearly communicated.
Competitively priced with a large board of degree-educated writers, CV Knowhow can significantly improve the chances of the younger generation taking the first positive step along the career path by creating a CV focusing on individual skills and capabilities.
Here at CV Knowhow, we would love to hear your views and opinions on the latest budget offering and where you see the country ending up if Conservatives do get elected.