January 26 2015 Latest news:

The personal income tax allowance will be raised next April by more than most analysts had expected, from £8,100 to £9,205.

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The government had already stated its aim of lifting the threshold to £10,000 by 2015, but the latest move indicates a speeding-up of the process.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of Unbiased.co.uk, said: “The chancellor’s announcement to raise the personal allowance is a welcome pledge for everyone, particularly those on lower incomes.”

But Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Raising the personal tax allowance is an empty gesture to struggling families on low wages.

“Poorer working families who get housing and council tax benefits will not get all of the money in their pocket – because as their income goes up, their benefits will go down.”

There was also a pledge by the government to take up East Anglian MP Ben Gummer’s plans for every income-tax payer to be sent personal statements detailing where their money is being spent.

About 20 million income-tax payers should receive the statements in 2014 and a further nine million should receive them in future years.

“The plan to provide people with an annual statement detailing where their tax payments are being used is a welcome move for consumers, both in terms of educating them and providing them with some perspective on tax,” said Ms Barrett.

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