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Newcastle to be national centre for ageing science

The Chancellor George Osborne has pledged £20m to help Newcastle University launch a national centre for the study of ageing.

The institute will develop dietary and exercise products that will help people live more comfortably in old age.

Mr Osborne said it was all part of his plan to create a 'northern economic powerhouse'.

Council leader to "send Chancellor a map"

Newcastle council leader Nick Forbes says he is going to send George Osborne a map so that he realises that a "northern powerhouse" would stretch as far as the North East.

Cllr Forbes says he will mark Newcastle on the map so that the Chancellor doesn't ignore his city when there's talk of a northern powerhouse, which includes Manchester and Leeds.

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Professor welcomes £20m funding for research

John Burn , the professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University, has welcomed news in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement that there will be £20m of new funding into research in Newcastle.

The money will go towards investigating the effects of an ageing population on the NHS.

Click below for Professor Burn's comments.

Virgin Money to create 200 jobs after Osborne's visit

George Osborne speaking at Virgin Money's site in Newcastle.
Can I help you? The Chancellor was shown the ropes at Virgin Money's branch in Newcastle city centre.
The Chancellor chatting to Virgin Money staff.
Something to smile about: Virgin Money has announced it will pay the Treasury a further £154.5 million.

Virgin Money has announced that it will create 200 new jobs, 120 of which will be based in the North East.

The announcement was made earlier today when the Chancellor, George Osborne, visited Virgin Money's site in Gosforth, Newcastle. The visit also included a tour of the bank's high street branch in Newcastle city centre.

Virgin Money bought Northern Rock from the Government in 2011. As part of that deal, Virgin Money will pay a further £154.5 million to the Treasury.

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Analysis: Budget could hit those on low incomes

The Resolution Foundation, an independent research and policy organisation, analysed the Chancellor's 2013 Budget:

  • Personal tax allowances: Small gains for the great majority of tax payers excluding the very highest and lowest earners. However three-quarters of the £1 billion goes to households in the top half.
  • Fuel duty: The freeze on fuel duty will disproportionately benefit lower and modest income families.
  • Childcare: Welcome increase in generosity of childcare support through Universal Credit but only a minority of working low-income families with children will benefit.
  • Housing: Focus on new supply to be welcomed but focus on home ownership is unlikely to benefit those on low and modest incomes.
  • Wages: OBR forecasts show wages have dipped further than previously realised. For the median worker, the downturn has become even more severe.
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Chancellor attacked over public sector workers

The Chancellor is either oblivious to the tough time that millions of public sector workers and their families are having or he is deliberately setting out to punish them.

Public sector workers have seen their pay frozen as the cost of living soars and thousands now find themselves earning less than the living wage.

Family budgets are at breaking point and millions of nurses, teachers, fire-fighters, council workers and civil servants will have been hoping the Chancellor might ease their pain today, not add significantly to it.

– TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady
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