FAMILIES will welcome parts of last Wednesday’s Budget from Chancellor George Osborne, claims a Chard accountant.

Mr Osborne increased the amount people earn before paying tax, froze duty on petrol, Scotch whisky and cider, and cut a penny off a pint of beer, but put the price of cigarettes up by 2% above the rate of inflation.

Jane Jordan, director of accountancy firm Lentells, said extra help for families with child care costs and scrapping the need to purchase an annuity at retirement could boost the economy.

She said: “The additional help will be welcomed and may make returning to work more affordable for some parents.

“A further tweak to employers’ national insurance contributions rates means from April, 2015, no employer’s contributions will be payable for employees under 21 who earn less than £41,000 a year.

“On top of the £2,000 saving in employers’ NI contributions which is being applied from April, 2014, for most employers, it is hoped that this will encourage businesses to expand by taking on more staff.”

Mr Osborne increased the amount people earn before paying tax by £500 to £10,500, while the 40% tax threshold will go up from £41,450 to £41,865 next month.

For savers, cash and stocks ISAs are to be merged into a single New ISA with an annual tax-free savings limit of £15,000 from July 1, while the limit for a Junior ISA will be raised to £4,000.

A further £200million is to be made available to local authorities to repair potholes.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said families had become £1,600 a year worse off under the coalition and pledged that if his party wins the next election it will reinstate the 10p tax rate for low earners and raise the top rate to 50p for people earning more than £150,000 a year.

Anne Katrin, who lives on the Blackdowns, said: “Keeping petrol prices down is a good thing, but they can put alcohol as high as they want – some people will always find a way to afford it.”

Doreen Humphry, of Broadway, said: “I think it’s OK. I manage the money I have, but we have all had to make cuts.”

Tom Lovegrove, of Forton, said: “It’s all about paying for what you get, and tobacco, booze and petrol are the easiest things the Government can get income from.”

Doreen Brunt and Valerie House, who both live near Ilminster, said: “It’s encouraging for older people who have pensions because at one time your money was worth nothing.”