Will budget leave you better or worse off?

WILL you be better or worse off as a result of George Osborne's budget? We look at two case studies...

Cat and Charlie Tatman with their twins Caleb and Skye, from Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

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Caroline Pegg, a paramedic from Ferrybridge.

FAMILY

Cat and Charlie Tatman live in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, with three-year-old twins Caleb and Skye.

Mrs Tatman’s main thoughts on the budget announcement were those of concern - from a personal point of view, with the changes in education, and from a professional point of view, for what was omitted - greater support for the most marginalised in society.

“It is quite alarming to see the plans for all schools to become academies across the board - it feels a bit ideological to me, rather than based on results and whether the academy system is actually working,” she said.

Caroline Pegg, a paramedic from Ferrybridge.

“My concern is the lack of local authority control. I feel that the academy system takes power away from the community. I also feel that there can be a massaging of the stats - they use a lot of equivalents to GCSEs and determine their own curriculum - so could look to be doing better than they actually are.”

Mrs Tatman also raised concerns about plans to enable all students to study maths until the age of 18, which she feels takes the focus away from a well-rounded education. She is also worried about the effects of lengthening the school day.

Mrs Tatman, a family therapist, said: “Art and sport should not be made to feel as optional extras,”

“I have a lot of friends who are teachers, and working in schools, I see the pressures they are under. Academies can re-write teacher contracts, and opening for longer hours will mean more pressures.”

She is also concerned about the rise in the personal tax allowance and the increase in the 40 per cent tax allowance.

“I actually feel like I want to pay more tax to contribute to society,” she said. “When I read about welfare cuts, I want to pay my share.

“I also feel there was a lack of additional spending on public services. I feel very angry that money is being diverted away from public services and yet there is still money to give tax breaks to businesses and high earners.”

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL

As a healthcare professional. Caroline Pegg from Ferrybridge found the new sugar tax to be stand-out policy.

Miss Pegg, 29, a trauma coordinator at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said putting the onus on companies to reduce sugar was the right thing to do.

The policy will see a sugar tax on the industry introduced in two years’ time, raising £520m which will be spent on primary school sport.

“We are seeing a lot more children diagnosed with diabetes due to lifestyle factors rather than genetics and anything we can do to make the industry more health conscious is a good thing,” she said.

“With childhood obesity also on the increase we should be encouraging children to play more sport from an early age, so they can continue throughout their lifetime. In the long run, this will reduce pressure on the NHS.”

She was also happy to hear about the £230m earmarked for road improvements in the north, which will include upgrades to the M62.

“As a paramedic it’s really difficult to put up with the potholes on our local roads and the M62 can be a nightmare. Plus, if there are improvements it should mean less wear and tear on my car too.”

Savings incentives were also a plus point for Miss Pegg. The annual Isa limit is to rise from £15,000 to £20,000 and there will be a new lifetime Isa for under-40s, where the Government will put in £1 for every £4 saved.

“I save into an Isa at the moment and the interest return is nowhere near as good. Seeing a clear benefit will encourage more people to save,” she said.

“At my age, people are often saving for something big, be it a deposit, a wedding or a baby. Being able to put an extra £5,000 in an Isa will make it easier.”