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Budget has perks for elderly, 'Google tax'

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne leaves the Treasury for the House of Commons to deliver the Autumn statement on December 3, 2014The government’s final budget before a May election contains perks for older voters and a “Google tax” on companies that shift profits overseas, according to Sunday newspapers. Chancellor George Osborne’s budget due to be announced Wednesday will end restrictions on the sale of annuities, allowing pensioners to swap regular retirement incomes for lump sums, the reports said. The Sun reported that the budget would include a 25 percent “Google tax on firms accused of diverting profits abroad to avoid tax”, a move that follows criticism of the tax arrangements of companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google. Plans to reform inheritance tax to allow parents to pass their homes on to children tax-free, a move to build 45,000 houses, and small cuts to alcohol tax are also contained in the budget, the newspaper said.

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