Chancellor George Osborne unveils the government’s Budget for 2016
14:30 16 March 2016
All English schools will be in the process of becoming academies by 2020, George Osborne announced in his budget “for the next generation”.
The Chancellor announced a whole range of measurer in Parliament this afternoon, including the introduction of a sugar levy on soft drinks to try and fight childhood obesity.
The Tory MP claimed the £530million raised by the levy would be used to double the spending on sports in primary school to help make “a Britain fit for the future”.
Meanwhile academy conversions will be forced on all state secondary and primary schools – “freeing them from local bureaucracy” – with the government taking on radical new powers for those not playing ball.
A new £27billion rail upgrade was announced for the capital with Crossrail 2, a north to south link, getting the green light.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) will work towards full retention of the capital’s business rates by next April although the new threshold for business rate relief will rise from £6,000 to a maximum of £15,000.
There was also good news for drivers with the announcement that fuel duty remains frozen for a sixth consecutive year, although duties on tobacco will rise by 2pc.
Duties on beer, cider and whisky also remain frozen but tax on all other alcohol types will rise in line with inflation.
The personal allowance threshold on income tax will rise to £11,500 from April next year while anyone under 40 will be able to open a lifetime ISA, meaning the government will give savers £1 for every £4 put away.
The Labour Party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, called the Chancellor’s budget “the culmination of six years of his failures”, and questioned the tax and business rates cuts at a time when welfare reform is slashing support for disabled people.
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