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Measures to make 'UK best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business'
1:16pm Wednesday 23rd March 2011 in News
The Chancellor announced a raft of measures he said would make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.
Many of the measures had been widely trailed but the centrepiece was another cut in corporation tax paid by businesses - down 2% instead of the 1% previously announced.
And there would be 1% falls in each of the following three years, he added.
He confirmed a shake-up in planning rules which will make all bodies involved in planning give priority to growth and jobs.
But there was a new squeeze on so-called non-doms - wealthy entrepreneurs who have been accused of avoiding their fair share of tax using their special tax status.
The last government introduced a £30,000 charge for those who had lived here for seven years.
Mr Osborne said he was increasing the charge to £50,000 for non-doms who have been in the country for 12 years, a move he said would raise over £200 million in the coming years.
As expected he set in motion plans to merge income tax and National Insurance contributions as part of a push to simplify the tax system.
However, he warned that the process would take several years to complete.
He also confirmed proposals to use the levy charged on banking profits to give a £250 million leg up for first time home buyers.
The new shared equity scheme, First Buy, will be available for first-time buyers who want to purchase a newly built property, but who cannot afford high deposits.
He said this would help 10,000 families get on to the housing ladder for the first time.
There was also an extra £100 million for the repair of winter potholes in roads.