On Tuesday 27th November 2001 the chancellor Gordon Brown delivered his Pre-Budget Report - an early indication of government policy in the run up to the main Budget of March 2002. In it he forecast that Britain is set to experience 2.25 per cent growth in 2001, the highest of all the G7 countries. Inflation is at its lowest level since 1963. The key features of the report are that tax cuts have been promised in certain areas such as capital gains tax, research and development and corporation tax, while football pools tax is set to be abolished. From April 2002, a flat rate VAT scheme will be introduced for small companies; a new Working Tax Credit to tackle persistent poverty among working people and a new Child Tax Credit will be introduced. Community Investment Tax Credit will be introduced to encourage private investment by enterprises in under-invested communities; stamp duty exemption for property transfers of up to 150,000 pounds in the country's most disadvantaged areas will also be introduced. An extra one billion pounds is promised for the National Health Service, with health spending to rise by seven per cent in real terms; the income tax personal allowance will be increased by 80 pounds to 4615 pounds; the National Insurance starting point for payment will be 89 pounds a week; 100 million pounds allocated to the Ministry of Defence, 30 million for the Police and 20 million to fund counter-terrorism measures; overseas aid to be increased in 2003; a large aid package for rural areas in the wake of foot-and-mouth disease is to be introduced; a minimum increase in the annual level of the basic state pension of 100 pounds for single pensioners and 160 pounds for couples in 2003-4; a winter fuel allowance set at 200 pounds for each year of this Parliament; massive spending on transport until 2111; and the Government is to lauch Saving Gateway pilot projects aimed at matching savings by low income individuals.
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