British budget today

The coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled their budget today in Westminster. Not billed as an austerity budget as has been done in years past, the Tories are spinning the budget as a “Radical, Reforming Budget” that “supports work”.

Well, that sure is a bit of a departure from the no-drama sounding names of the last few Canadian budgets. Indeed, while Canada’s 2012 will have major spending cuts, the home Conservatives will be spinning the budget using terms such as “job creating”, “responsible leadership”, “economic growth”.

The highlights of the UK budget are:
Reduction of maximum personal income tax rate from 50% to 45%. In Canada, including income tax for Ontario, the maximum rate is about 40%.

Stamp tax of 7% on property sales worth over £2 million. This creates a new maximum tier for property sales, as the previous max was a 5% tax on property over £1 million.

Net debt of 63% GDP. Canada’s is 30.4% and the OECD average is 71.4%

Increase of personal allowance taking 2 million taxpayers off the tax rolls (with other cuts) and increasing the standing of the basic rate taxpayer by £526.

Means testing for the Child Benefit. Canada does not have a means test for the Universal Child Care Tax credit, though it does for the Child tax benefit. Australia has income tested their Family Tax Benefit.

Reduction of corporate tax rate to 24% (22% by 2014). Canada’s corporate tax rate is 15%.