Highlights of this afternoon’s Budget speech in Parliament, the measures likely to affect smaller creative businesses and the self-employed:

* “across England, [we are] launching a new round of Enterprise Zones for smaller towns”

* “The new National Living Wage will be compulsory. Working people aged 25 and over will receive it. It will start next April, at the rate of £7.20”.

* “From 2016 our new Employment Allowance [for small firms], will now be increased by 50% to £3,000. That means a firm will be able to employ four people full time on the new National Living Wage and pay no national insurance at all.”

* “Many small and medium sized businesses have benefitted from our enhanced Annual Investment Allowance. This [capital] Allowance [will now increase to] £200,000 [per year]; this year and every year.”

* “I am raising the tax-free personal allowance to £11,000 next year. That’s £11,000 you can earn before paying any income tax at all”

* “to ensure university is affordable to all students from all backgrounds, we’ll increase the [annual] maintenance loan available to £8,200” […] “we’ll consult on freezing the loan repayment threshold for five years – and we’ll link the student fee cap to [the rate of] inflation for those institutions that can show they offer high-quality teaching.”

* “We are going to introduce an apprenticeship levy on all large firms. [But] Firms that offer [youth] apprenticeships can get more back than they put in. Britain’s great businesses training up the next generation. 3 million more apprenticeships…”

That last one is especially good news for the Stoke-on-Trent pottery industry, I’d say.