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Osborne seeks to maximise electoral gain after Budget

George Osborne will seek to maximise electoral gain for the Conservatives today after his pre-election Budget was generally well received.

Chancellor George Osborne's Budget was generally well received. Credit: PA Wire

The Chancellor's last Budget before the General Election saw him offer financial goodies to savers and regional voters while he sought to blunt Labour's key weapons.

But Osborne will have to fight Opposition claims that he tried to hide from the public the scale of future spending cuts so deep that the NHS would have to be squeezed or VAT raised.

Will first time buyers benefit from new ISAs?

For people saving to buy a house, the new Help to Buy ISAs could be the help they need to get on the housing ladder more quickly.

The government will top up every £200 saved for property by £50 up to a maximum pay out of £3,000.

But industry experts fear it will do more harm than good by a demand in properties raising the value of properties.

ITV News Correspondent Emily Morgan reports:


Examining the Chancellor's Budget figures for growth

George Osborne's promise to end austerity a year early will depend very heavily on the economy doing better than expected - as well as on more cuts to spending.

Economics Editor Richard Edgar has been drilling down on the figures - to find out what today's statements will actually mean.


Budget gives fresh hope to first-time buyers

With the average house in Loughborough now selling for just over £200,000, the government's new saving plans could bring fresh hope to first-time buyers.

Help to Buy ISAs are predicted to help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder quicker, speeding up the saving process by a year.

The government will make a 25 per cent top up for first-time buyer deposits with a maximum contribution of £3,000.

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:

SNP: £30 billion of austerity cuts are still to come

Angus Robertson, MP for Moray and Westminster SNP leader, said the budget proved that the Coalitioni government has failed on all of their major targets for the parliamentary session.

He said a further £30 billion of austerity cuts are still planned, and also hit out at Labour for agreeing to the cuts.

IFS: Predictions on income 'hardly worth boasting about'

Paul Johson, the head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the Chancellor's comments on household income being greater next year than this year are most likely to be true - but hardly worth boasting about. He said:

"We shouldn't really be boasting about the fact that in 2015 we might be a bit better off than we were in 2008 - that is the very, very least we expect".

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