First-time buyers are the headline-grabbing winners from today's Budget.

However, Chancellor Alistair Darling (right) confirmed a series of previously-announced tax hikes that will start to eat away at our earnings from next month.

Below, we round up the key announcements that affect your pocket:

Stamp duty threshold raised for first-time buyers

First-time buyers - defined as anyone who has never bought a property or an interest in a property worldwide - will not have to pay the land tax on a house or flat worth up to 250,000 (see the House-Buying MoneySaving guide).

The change, which comes into effect tomorrow, will last for two years and will be paid for by a hike in stamp duty to 5% of the property price for homes worth more than 1 million from April 2011. That rate is currently 4%.

As of today, no-one pays stamp duty on properties worth under 125,000 while the rate between 125,000 and 250,000 is 1% of the property value.

The move will save a first-time buyer 2,500 on a 250,000 home but question marks remain about the effectiveness of the plan (see the Stamp duty holiday MSE News story for more info).

Tax rises imminent

While little new was announced today, millions will see their take-home pay cut over the next 13 months following previous announcements.

For instance, the amount we all earn before tax is deducted (the personal allowance) will be frozen next month meaning anyone who gets pay rise will pay more tax. At the same time, those earning over 150,000 will pay 50% tax, instead of the current 40%, on earnings above that threshold.

From April 2011, everyone earning over 20,000 a year will pay an additional 1% in NI (see the Budget 2009 high earner tax rise and 2009 Pre-Budget Report tax hike MSE News stories for more info).

Bank accounts for all

Banks must offer all customers a basic current account at the very least (see the Best Bank Accounts guide).

At present, approximately 1.75 million do not have a current account, with many refused a standard facility because of a poor credit score not given the option of opening a basic account which usually comes without an overdraft or debit card.

The Government intends to introduce what it calls a "universal service obligation" giving people the right to a basic bank account under certain conditions. The exact details of the plan are subject to a consultation (see the Bank accounts for all MSE News story for more).

Benefit help for over 60s

Existing winter fuel payments, temporarily introduced two years ago, have been guaranteed for another year (see the Benefits Check-up guide).

Nine million pensioner households will get at least 250 per person, or 400 for over 80s. Meanwhile, from April 2011 the number of hours over 60s must work to be eligible for tax credits is being reduced from 30 to 16 (see the Over 60s benefits MSE News story for more info).

Child tax credits increase for some

Families with one and two-year-olds will get an extra 4 a week in child tax credits from April 2012 (see the Tax credits MSE News story for more info).

Isa limits to rise

From April 2011, the tax-free Isa savings limits will rise each year in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure, which includes housing costs.(see the Full Isa guide).

However, this is not a permanent change as the Government says it will remain in place for "the whole of the next Parliament" (see the Isa rise MSE News story for more info).

It had already been announced that Isa limits will rise from 7,200 a year to 10,200 a year for all from next month - a hike that came into force last October for the over-50s.

3p fuel duty rise delayed

A planned increase in the cost of fuel was planned for next month but this will be phased in gradually between April 2010 and January 2011 (see the Cheap Petrol & Diesel guide).

Nevertheless, the price of filling up your car is expected to hit record levels soon (see the Fuel hike delay MSE News story for more info).

Inheritance tax (IHT) threshold frozen

No IHT will be due on estates worth up to 325,000, the current limit, until April 2014. Tax at 40% is payable on assets above 325,000 (see the Inheritance Tax guide).

This is effectively a tax rise in real terms because of inflation, meaning more families will have to pay the tax over the next few years (see the IHT freeze MSE News story for more info).

Rise in alcohol and cigarette costs

Tobacco duty rates will increase by 1% above inflation from today and by 2% above inflation for the next four years. Cider duty rates will increase by 10% above inflation on 29 March to bring them into line with the duty on other alcohol products.

Other alcohol rates will increase on the same date by 2% above inflation until 2014-15.

Further reading/Key Links

Cut costs: House-Buying MoneySaving, Best Bank Accounts, Inheritance Tax, Cheap Petrol & Diesel, Benefits Check-up