Managing my money
Managing my money

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Managing my money

2.2 Taxation and benefits

Take a look at deductions that are made to income in the UK in the form of Income Tax and National Insurance. Consider the income that comes in the form of state benefits and review the current overhaul of the UK benefits system.

In the video George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, announces his proposals for tax changes to a packed House of Commons.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_money_vid_1006.mp4
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.. will not to transform the finances of any family, but it helps a little to have some bills that aren't going up and it hel-
Order! Order! Can I just say to the back row and a couple of people in particular, that the panto season isn't for another nine months and if auditions do take place can they take place outside the chamber. Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mister Deputy Speaker. It helps a lot to be able to keep more of the money you earn before you pay tax on it. This Government support people who work hard and want to get on.
When we came to office the personal income tax allowance stood at under £6500. In two weeks' time, the allowance will reach £9440, with the largest cash increase in its history. Twenty-four million taxpayers will see their income tax bill cut by an extra £200. Over 2 million of the lowest paid will be taken out of tax altogether.
In this Budget, the Government reconfirm its commitment to raising the personal allowance to £10,000, In fact, we go one better. Mister Deputy Speaker. We said we would raise the personal allowance to £10,000 by the end of the Parliament. Today I can confirm that we will get there next year. From 2014, there will be no income tax at all on the first £10,000 of your salary £10,000 of tax-free earning. That is £700 less in tax for working families than when this Government came to office. Almost 3 million of the lowest paid will pay no income tax at all. It is a historic achievement for this Government and for hard-working families across the country.
I am aware that the concept of a 10p tax rate has caused problems for honourable members opposite. First, they introduced it before deciding that introducing it was a mistake and that it ought to be abolished. Then they decided that abolishing it was a mistake and that they ought to introduce it again. To put them out of their misery, we are going to turn their 10p band into a 0p band, so they do not have to worry about it any more. Every person who is paying at the 10p rate that they doubled will now pay no income tax at all.
There is one final tax change that I want to tell the House about. It is about jobs. In the end, aspiration is about living in a country where people can get jobs and fulfil their dreams. The ending of contracting out that I talked about generates extra employee national insurance revenues for the Exchequer. I want to put those revenues to good use. I want to support jobs and the small businesses that create them, and I want to do it with a reforming tax cut. In fact, it is the largest tax cut in this Budget.
The cost of employing people is a burden on small firms. It is a real barrier to taking an extra person on. To help create jobs and back small businesses in this country, I am today creating the employment allowance. The employment allowance will work by taking the first £2000 off the employer national insurance bill of every company. It is a tax off jobs. It is worth up to £2000 to every business in the country. It will mean that 450,000 small businesses - one third of all employers in the country - will pay no jobs tax at all.
For the person who has set up their own business and is thinking about taking on their first employee, a huge barrier will be removed. They can hire someone on £22,000 a year, or four people on the minimum wage, and pay no jobs tax. Ninety-eight per cent. of the benefit of this employment allowance will go to SME's. It will become available in April next year, once the legislation has passed. We will also make it available to charities and community sports clubs. The last Government's answer to Britain's economic problems was to propose a tax on jobs. We stopped that and today this Government is taking tax off jobs.
A new employment allowance that helps small firms, a 20% rate of corporation tax and a £10,000 personal allowance - major achievements delivered by this Government in difficult times.
We understand that the way to restore our economic prosperity is to energise the aspirations of the British people. If you want to own your own home, if you want help with your child care bills, if you want to start your own business or give someone a job, if you want to save for your retirement and leave your home to your children, and if you want to work hard and get on, we are on your side. This is a Budget that does not duck our nation's problems; it confronts them head on. It is a Budget for an aspiration nation. It is a Budget that wants to be prosperous, solvent and free, and I commend it to the House.
Thank you. Order! Order! If we are going to make progress, if we want to vote on it, if we want this budget we'd better put the vote. [LAUGHTER] Under the standing order number 51 the first motion entitled, 'provision and collection of taxes' must be decided without debate will the Chancellor of the Exchequer move formally?
End transcript
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Here we start to look in more detail at the deductions (for Income Tax and National Insurance in the UK) and additions (through benefit payments) that take us from gross to net income. (Note that for some people another possible deduction from gross income is contributions to their pension scheme: these schemes are discussed later in the course.)

Income Tax is levied on almost all types of income, including paid employment. When it is collected via an employer it is often referred to as a ‘pay as you earn’ (PAYE) tax. Income Tax is paid on income received within a given tax year, from 6 April of one year to 5 April of the following year. Income Tax is the single largest source of government revenue. In 2016/17, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the government department responsible for collecting taxes, collected £176 billion in Income Tax – close to a third of all government receipts (ONS, 2017).

In the UK Income Tax system most people receive an ‘allowance’ of income that can be earned before Income Tax has to be paid. This ‘personal allowance’ is £11,850 in 2018/19. The allowance is higher for certain groups of people, such as those who are registered blind. The personal allowance has an income limit of £100,000. Above this limit the allowance tapers away.

Income above the personal allowance is then subject to tax at three different standard rates in English, Wales and Northern Ireland (Gov.UK, 2018):

  • in 2018/19 the first £34,500 (after the basic allowance has been taken into account) is taxed at 20%
  • above this figure and up to £150,000 of taxable income, the rate is 40%
  • there is an additional rate of 45% on taxable incomes over £150,000.

Since 1999 Scotland has had some discretion over its income tax rates. These powers were extended in 2016 and 2017 giving the Scottish Parliament full discretion over the income tax rates and bands applied to non-savings income. Discretion over income tax is also planned to be extended to Wales and Northern Ireland.

Using its discretion the Scottish Parliament approved the following income tax rates and bands for 2018/19 (BBC, 2017).

Income BandName of BandTax Rate
£0 - £11,850 (personal allowance)Personal Allowance0%
£11,851 - £13,850Starter Rate19%
£13,851 - £24,000Basic Rate20%
£24,001 - £44,273Intermediate Rate21%
£44,274 - £150,000Higher Rate41%
£150,001 and aboveAdditional Rate46%

By taxing additional income slices at higher rates, the proportion of tax increases with income. UK Income Tax is an example of progressive taxation, meaning that the proportion of a person’s income paid as tax increases as their income increases. This tax structure therefore helps to reduce income inequalities in the UK.

Next, have a go at using what you’ve learned here to try some calculations for yourself.


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