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Budget 2021: who wins and who loses?

·5 min read

Single, 25, no children

Unemployed

2021-22 Their universal credit payments were worth £412 a month between April and September – reduced to £325 a month for the rest of the year after the £20 a week “uplift” was withdrawn in October. Housing payments depend on the property and where they rent. That aside, they receive £4,418 during the year.

2022-23 Although their UC payments now rise by inflation (3.1%) to £335 a month, their payments are considerably lower than during the first half of 2021.

Verdict Overall they will be £400 a year worse off this year.

* * *

Single, no children

Earns £34,000

2021-22 She pays £4,284 a year in income tax while national insurance accounts for a further £2,932. This gives a net annual income of £26,784 or £2,232 a month.

2022-23 Her income tax take will remain the same. However, the 1.25% increase to NI rates to pay for social care means that overall she receives £266 less pay than last year.

Verdict Worse off.

* * *

Single, one child

Earns £14,000 part-time on minimum wage, plus benefits

2021-22 Income tax and NI deductions account for £816 a year. Child benefit is worth £21.15 a week, or £1,100 a year. They will benefit from the new 55% universal credit taper from December giving a total UC top-up of £3,675 and an annual income of £17,959.

2022-23 The increase to the ”national living wage” raises their earnings to £14,800. However, they pay £164 extra income tax and £125 more NI. Child benefit rises £33.80 for the year, but their UC rises to £3,752.

Verdict Overall they are £546 a year better off.

* * *

Single

Earns £120,000

2021-22 Our high flyer pays £39,432 a year in income tax and £6,279 in NI each year, leaving £74,289 a year to be spent on the finer things.

2022-23 His income tax bill remains unchanged but the increase in NI leaves him a shade over £1,341 worse off a year.

Verdict: Worse off – his net income is down to £72,948.

* * *

Unmarried couple in their 30s, no children

First income of £55,000, second income of £31,000

2021-22 Our couple pay a combined income tax and NI bill of £20,663, giving them a combined net annual income of £65,337.

2022-23 While their income tax bill remains unchanged, they are both hit by the NI increase. The higher earner pays £529 more NI while the other is paying an extra £239 a year.

Verdict Overall the couple are £757 a year worse off.

* * *

Unmarried couple, two children

First income of £23,000, second income of £18,000

2021-22 The higher earner loses £3,696 to tax and NI, while the second person pays £2,162 for both. Their child benefit is worth £35.15 a week (£1,828 a year), giving a net household income of £36,970.

2022-23 The increase to NI payments leaves the higher earner £128 worse off, while the second earner is paying £66 a year more. They will get a small increase in child benefit.

Verdict They are £137 a year worse off.

* * *

Married couple, three children

One income of £57,000

2021-22 The main-breadwinner is paying £15,247 a year in combined tax and NI. Child benefit would be worth £2,556 a year if they earned less than £50,000 a year – but is worth only £767 a year once the high-income tax charge is applied.

2022-23 Their income tax bill is unchanged but they pay £554 a year more in NI. Their child benefit rises by £24 a year.

Verdict They are left £530 a year worse off.

* * *

Married couple, two children

Both unemployed

2021-22 Their universal credit payments were worth £1,116 a month from April to September and £1,029.49 from October to March. Once their child benefit at £35.15 a week is added in, they receive a total of £14,701 for the year.

2022-23 The £20 a week uplift they enjoyed in the first six months of 2021 is long gone, but a 3.1% increase to their benefits compared with March helps. Overall they will receive £90 a year less than they did in the previous 12 months.

Verdict Worse off.

* * *

Single pensioner

Basic state pension plus private pension of £12,000

2021-22 Her state pension is worth £137.60 a week or £7,155 a year. She has to pay income tax of £1,315 but no national insurance, giving an annual income of £17,840.

2022-23 The basic state pension rises in line with inflation to £141.85 a week. Her income tax bill rises by £44 a year and she is unaffected by the NI changes, for this year at least.

Verdict Overall she is better off by £177 for the year.

* * *

Married pensioners, both in their 70s

State pension plus private pension of £8,000

2021-22 Between them they receive pension payments totalling £220 a week or £11,440 a year. The fact that they transfer their marriage allowance means they pay £263 a year in income tax. They pay no NI.

2022-23 Their pensions rise by 3.1% but their tax bill rises by £44 a year. The change to NI contributions doesn’t affect them this year, but they will pay 1.25% next year.

Verdict Overall they are £309 better off this year.

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