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Govt: Economy 'could be worse'

The Chancellor George Osborne has told ITV's Daybreak that the country's economic problems "could be a lot worse", referring to the situation in Cyprus, as he defended his Budget plans to kickstart the recovery.

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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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