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Osborne curbs welfare benefits

The newly unemployed will have to wait at least seven days before they are able to sign on, under a series of changes to welfare benefits announced by the Chancellor. A new welfare cap will be set from 2015 and OAP expats face losing fuel payments.

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Defence cuts 'have no impact on military manpower'

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "The savings that I have agreed will have no impact on military manpower or equipment.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

"Our Armed Forces will continue to be backed by the fourth largest defence budget in the world and a programme of investment in state of the art equipment worth about £160 billion.

“By renegotiating contracts with industry and reforming the way we procure equipment, we will deliver hundreds millions of pounds worth of savings to reduce the country’s deficit without impacting on the Armed Forces’ ability to operate effectively.

“The ambitious and far-reaching reforms we began in 2010 have eliminated the £38 billion black hole inherited from Labour and balanced the defence budget for the first time in a generation.

"We are determined to ensure that the Armed Forces of the future have the resources they need to deliver our nation’s security.”

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