Business leaders have given George Osborne's Budget a cautious thumbs up, but it's still unclear how far the North East will benefit
Steven Bruck, a partner at Blick Rothenberg Chartered Accountants, takes a look at the winners and losers of this year's Budget.
Osborne surprisingly had a fair amount of leeway in his Budget. But we have to set all this in the context of a very gloomy overall picture.
Strikers in Newcastle say they are 'absolutely disgusted' at the pay freezes they have experienced.
Small businesses will get £2,000 off the cost of their tax bill on people they employ, the Chancellor has announced.
He says it will help small firms who are thinking about taking new people on to go ahead and do it.
The government will put up loans of 20% of the cost of a new house interest free, the Chancellor has announced. Buyers will only need to put up a 5% deposit.
The loan would help buyers get a mortgage, as long as they buy a newly built house.
It will not be restricted to first time buyers, a move that will be welcomed by estate agents. Yesterday, Janet Hopkinson from Sanderson Young, a member of our Business Club, told me she wanted some action to help people move up the property ladder.
The Chancellor says it will also help the construction industry by creating demand for more new houses.
Protestors striking in Newcastle say they feel under attack, and that they are due a pay increase.
Strikers gathered at Grey's Monument in Newcastle, angry about pay and pensions. Thousands of other civil service workers across the North East are also on strike. The protest coincides with this year's Budget. Several protests are planned over the next few months.
George Osborne has praised the North East for being one of the most successful regions in the country for creating new private sector jobs.
He announced a single pot of money to support local enterprise - a move welcomed this week by the North East Chamber of Commerce.
He also highlighted that for the first time in 40 years Britain is exporting more cars than it is importing, in no small part thanks to the phenomenal success of Nissan's Sunderland plan, which is the most productive car plant in Europe.
Pay rises in the public sector will be limited to 1% for another year, the Chancellor has announced.
He said the move was "tough but fair" when many private sector employees are being offered equally small pay rises. In a choice between protecting jobs and offering pay rises, he said he wanted to "put jobs first."
George Osborne has told MPs that tax cuts in the Budget will be 'paid for' rather than coming from borrowed money. So we can expect some tax cuts to be announced in the next half an hour or so.
The independent Office for Budget Responsibility has downgraded its growth forecast for 2013 to just 0.6%. It had previously said it would be 1.2%.
It gives ammunition to those, including Labour, who say the Chancellor is not doing enough to get the economy moving.
George Osborne is expected to announce plans to cut more public spending and use the savings to invest in infrastructure projects to address this.
The word 'aspiration' has been at the heart of George Osborne's Budget speech so far.
"This is a Budget for those who aspire to work hard and get on," he began. He went on to say it would be a Budget for those who aspire to own their own home and start their own business.