Budget good for PC shoppers?

Brief: It could soon be easier to get hold of cheaper laptops and iPods, if Chancellor Gordon Brown manages to raise the bar on customs taxes

UK shoppers could soon be given the green light to buy shiny new laptops or handfuls of iPods from the US, without fear of being leapt upon by the taxman.

In today's budget speech, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown said he wants to raise the tax-free limit on goods bought outside the European Union.

"I have today written to the European Commission proposing that the tax free limit on goods brought into the UK from outside the European Union should rise from £145 to £1,000," said Brown.

This would mean buying computers and other technology products from far-off lands could become cheaper and more accessible to travelling shoppers. Many IT products are typically sold at a lower price in the US than in the UK, for example.

Brown's recommendations have yet to be agreed on by the EU, but if implemented it could mean that UK retailers are forced to drop their prices in a bid to compete with foreign competition.