Budget 99: For Better and Worse; We Put Our Case Studies through Gordon's Number Cruncher
SINGLE MUM: Allison Baroody
Name: Allison Baroody, 31. Address: Poole, Dorset. Occupation: None. Children: Rasheed, 11, and twins Leena and Leila, 8.
Income Support pounds 86.78
Child Benefit pounds 30.05
Rent pounds 102 (met by DSS)
Council tax Exempt
Water Paid by DSS
Electricity pounds 25.50
Car insurance pounds 4 (Her dad pays it)
Road tax pounds 2.88
Petrol pounds 10
Cigarettes pounds 22
Verdict: "Overall I am quite pleased with it as I wasn't expecting much.
"Child benefit has been increased and that's very welcome.
"But there was nothing about how he would help single mothers like me back to work or how he would provide more childcare and how I could pay for it.
"I would like to get back to work but I would lose benefit.
"So I want to be sure that I wouldn't be any worse off than I am now.
"Cigarettes are up 17.5p a packet - and that's a lot."
BETTER OFF BY pounds 1.86
LOW EARNERS: The Bevingtons
Name: Chris Bevington, 36, and Ros, 36.
Address: Redruth, Cornwall.
Occupation: Chris is a supply teacher while Ros works part-time in an off-licence.
Children: Ben, four, Jessica, two, William, one.
Wages pounds 25/pounds 60
Family credit pounds 80
Child benefit pounds 30.05
Mortgage pounds 21
Council tax pounds 7.70
Water pounds 4.60
House insurance: pounds 2.30
Gas bottle pounds 1
Electricity pounds 17.50
Car insurance pounds 3.90
Road Tax pounds 2.88
Petrol pounds 17.50
Cider pounds 1.50
Hand-rolled tobacco pounds 3.50
Verdict: "It's not bad at all," said Chris. "We bought a smaller car years ago thinking it would be taxed more lightly and the Government has finally caught up with it.
"I don't mind the loss of mortgage tax relief so long as interest rates stay down.
"The increase in child benefit is good and so is replacing the married allowance with a benefit for couples with children instead.
"I'd like to have seen more money spent on nursery places and on bringing down school class sizes."
BETTER OFF BY pounds 2.45
HIGHER EARNER: Jason Mills
Name: Jason Mills, 30, and Sally Dewing, 30.
Address: Walsham, Norfolk. Occupation: Jason is an electrician and Sally works part-time for a sales and promotions firm. They run two cars.
Children: Joshua, seven, and Oliver, four.
Earnings pounds 470/pounds 20
Child benefit pounds 20.75
Mortgage pounds 74
Council tax pounds 10.60
Water pounds 4.60
House insurance pounds 5
Endowments: pounds 13
Personal pension: pounds 17.25
Gas pounds 9
Electricity pounds 10
Car insurance pounds 8.50/pounds 5
Road Tax pounds 2.88/pounds 2.88
Petrol pounds 15
Diesel pounds 10
Cigarettes pounds 11
Verdict: "Its a very good budget for families and pensioners have done very well," said Sally.
"But they have hit motorists again which I think is unfair. In an ideal world we would use public transport. But in the real world we need cars.
"They have hit cigarettes again but left drink alone. Yet alcohol can do just as much harm to your health as smoking.
"And losing mortgage tax relief next year will leave us nearly pounds 18 a month worse off. …