Budget in the West Country

Chancellor George Osborne will be setting out his budget for the next financial year today. We will be examining its impact on people in the West Country, and feeding live updates once the announcement begins at 12:15pm today (Wednesday 20 March).

Live updates

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Charlotte Leslie: pubs crucial to rural economies

Charlotte Leslie MP (Con, Bristol North West) has welcomed the Chancellor's reduction of beer duty by 1p a pint. She has told our Political Correspondent Bob Constantine that it will help boost pubs, which she says are vital to rural economies.

They also employ huge numbers of young people, she said, arguing that the measure will also assist youth employment.

Fracking gas extraction given tax incentive

Fracking (the extraction of shale gas from the ground) is to be given a tax incentive. A company has applied for permission to frack the ground in the Mendips. Environmentalists are worried it will affect Bath's hot springs network and possibly cause minor earthquakes.

The tax incentive could encourage more applications. George Osborne says shale gas extraction 'is part of the future and we will make it happen.'

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George Osborne to announce budget at 12:15pm

Chancellor George Osborne will set out his budget for the next financial year today. His speech begins at 12:15pm in the House of Commons.

We will be feeding live updates on this page, which will focus on how the budget affects the West Country specifically.

The national ITV News site will be feeding live updates on how the budget will affect people generally. Click here to look at them.

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