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  1. National

Government's 'austerity obsession causing misery'

Unions have attacked the Chancellors "obsession with austerity" after he gave his latest Budget.

This Budget reeks of the stuck-up complacency of the well-heeled elite.

Osborne's claim that the economy will get back to pre-recession levels this year is sadly not the case. GDP per head is still 5.7% down on 2007 and real value of average earning is also down 13.8%. There is a very long way to go to get living standards for the vast majority of workers back to pre-recession levels.

The Budget is doing very little to get the 912,000 unemployed aged 16-24 into proper jobs. As some 246,000 have been out of work for over a year, there is a grave danger of seeing a lost generation.

– Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB

This Government's obsession with austerity is causing misery for millions of people while the over-hyped economic recovery benefits only a wealthy few.

Instead we need free universal childcare so parents can afford to return to work, a living wage and an end to pay cuts, and proper investment to create sustainable jobs and build the homes to tackle the scandal of our housing crisis.

– Mark Serwotka, Public and Commercial Services union general secretary
  1. Chris Ship
  2. National

Growth figures from George Osborne's Budget

The Chancellor has predicted growth will be higher in 2014 than predicted. At the last Budget - the 2014 growth was forecast to be 1.8%.

Now he says GDP will grow by 2.7% The forecast is also higher in 2015 at 2.3%.

It is the same in 2016 at 2.6% And slightly lower in 2017 and 2018

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  1. National

Investment allowance boost for businesses

The Annual Investment Allowance for businesses has been doubled to £500,000, George Osborne has announced.

Mark Evans, Tax Partner at independent chartered accountants Baker Tilly, says: "This is great news for businesses and means any spending up to that amount on capital plant or machinery can receive tax relief of 100%.

"Obviously George Osborne has been persuaded to change his mind as it was pre-announced that this allowance would fall from £250,000 to £25,000."

The Chancellor now says 99.8% of businesses will get the benefit of this measure.

  1. National

Bingo duty cut to 10% and beer down by 1p a pint

The duty on Bingo will be reduced. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The Chancellor has confirmed that the duty on Bingo will be reduced to 10%

Tobacco duty will rise by 2% above inflation, and the escalator already in place, will be extended for the rest of the next Parliament.

The alcohol duty escalator will be scrapped. Duties on Scottish whiskey and cider will be frozen.

Beer duty will be cut by 1p, for the second year running.

  1. Tom Bradby
  2. National

Duty on bingo halls halved to 10%

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  1. National

£200 million fund for local councils to help fix potholes

£200 million local fund to 'help fix potholes' Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The Chancellor has approved a £270 million guarantee for the Mersey Gateway bridge as well as funding for repairs to the M4.

George Osborne also said he would release a further £140 million for flood defences repairs in addition to funds already announced.

Mr Osborne told MPs there would be £200 million fund for local authorities to help with fixing potholes.

  1. Carl Dinnen
  2. National

Osborne announces Alan Turing Institute

George Osborne says a new institute, named after mathematician Alan Turing, will make sure the UK 'leads the way again in the use of big data and algorithm research'.

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