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LIVE: George Osborne delivers Budget 2013
1:40pm Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
- Income tax threshold to be raised to £10,000 by next year
- Beer duty cut by 1p a pint
- Planned fuel duty rise scrapped
- The first £2,000 to be taken off all employers' National Insurance bill
- Chancellor George Osborne promises £3bn for infrastructure
- Economic growth is forecast to be 0.6% this year
- Service personnel to be exempt from public sector 1% pay rise cap
- Public sector net debt will fall by 2017/18, the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts
The Chancellor has slashed the official growth forecast in half as he admitted the recovery was taking "longer than anyone hoped".
George Osborne said the economy would grow by just 0.6% this year - down from the previous forecast of 1.2% - and would be slower than forecast next year at 1.8% compared to the 2% forecast at the time of the Autumn Statement.
He described the package as a "Budget for people who aspire to work hard and get on". But he added: "Today, I'm going to level with people about the difficult economic circumstances we still face and the hard decisions required to deal with them."