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Poll: Chancellor scraps plans to cut tax credits

Chancellor George Osborne heads to Parliament. Credit: PA Wire

The Chancellor has announced that controversial plans to cut tax credits are to be scrapped altogether.

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No cuts to police budget 'at all', Osborne says

There will be no cuts to police budget 'at all', George Osborne announced.

Now is not the time for further police cuts.

Now is the time to back our police and give them the tools do the job.

I am today announcing there will be no cuts in the police budget at all.

There will be real terms protection for police funding. The police protect us, and we’re going to protect the police.

– George Osborne

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London Help to Buy launched as Right to Buy extended

Tenants of five housing associations will be able to start applying to buy their own home as part of a pilot scheme extending Right to Buy from midnight, George Osborne announced.

A new scheme called London Help to Buy will also be launched, meaning Londoners with a five per cent deposit will be able to get an interest-free loan worth up to 40 per cent of the value of a newly-built home.

Public land suitable for 160,000 homes will be released, he added, to help stimulate the building industry as well as tackling the housing crisis.

Meanwhile, a three per cent higher Stamp Duty will be imposed on those buying second homes or buy-to-let properties from April next year.

That will raise almost a billion pounds by 2021, helping to fund some of the other changes, he said.

Old prison sell-off to fund nine new prisons

A sell-off of "old, Victorian" prisons will help fund the construction of nine new prisons, George Osborne has announced.

Old Victorian prisons in our cities that are not suitable for rehabilitating prisoners will be sold.

This will also bring long term savings and means we can spend over a billion pounds in this Parliament building nine new modern prisons.

Today, the transformation gets underway with the announcement the Justice Secretary has just made.

I can tell the House that Holloway Prison – the biggest women’s jail in Western Europe – will close.

In the future, women prisoners will serve their sentences in more humane conditions better designed to keep them away from crime.

– George Osborne

Levy to raise £3bn a year for 3m new apprenticeships

A new levy on businesses will help raise £3bn a year for three million new apprenticeships, George Osborne has said.

The rate is set at 0.5 per cent of the employer's paybill - but will only apply to companies with paybills of more than £3m a year.

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Osborne limits free childcare support

Thirty hours of free childcare for families with three- and four-year-olds will only be available to parents working more than 16 hours a week and with incomes of less than £100,000, Osborne has announced.

He said this would help make the changes, which mean £10,000 worth of free childcare, "affordable" for the government.

"We will maintain the free childcare we offer to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds," he added.

"And to support nurseries delivering more free places for parents, we’ll increase the funding for the sector by £300m.

"Taken together that’s a £6bn childcare commitment to the working families of Britain."

29% increase in UK Sport budget in arts and culture review

George Osborne has announced a 29 per cent increase in the budget for UK Sport - saying he hoped it would help Britain "go for gold" in the upcoming Rio and Tokyo Olympics.

He told the Commons that one of the "best investments" the government could make was is in the country's "extraordinary arts, museums, heritage, media and sport".

Every £1bn a year in grants adds a quarter of a trillion pounds to the economy, he said.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport's core administration budget will fall by 20 per cent, but money to the Arts Council, national museums and galleries will be increased.

Free museum entry will also remain.

'Tampon tax' cash to be ploughed into charities

The £15m a year raised from the so-called 'tampon tax' will be ploughed into supporting women's charities, George Osborne said.

He vowed that he was "committed" to persuading the EU to allow Britain to scrap VAT on sanitary items - but in the meantime, it would be put to "good use".

The first £5 million will be distributed between the Eve Appeal, SafeLives and Women’s Aid, and The Haven – and I invite bids from other such good causes.

– George Osborne

Small business rates relief regime to be extended

The Chancellor has said the small business rates relief regime is to be extended for another year.

The scheme is estimated to support around 600,000 firms.

Support for aerospace and automotive industries has also been confirmed for the next decade at the current level.

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