George Osborne insisted that the economy is in good health and borrowing is on target.
Here is a summary of what was announced today.
- Stamp duty will be cut for 98% of people who pay it, only highest value residential properties will pay more.
- Unemployment forecast to fall to 5.4% next year before settling at 5.3%
- An extra £2bn every year for the NHS and £1.2bn investment in GP services.
- Hospices are to be refunded VAT payments.
- Fuel Duty to remain frozen.
- Age passenger duty for children under 12 will be abolished next may and under 16’s in 2016.
- Business rates will be cut and capped with extra help for the High Street.
- Government backed student loans of up to £10,000 will be available to all those undertaking postgraduate masters degrees.
- The ‘Funding For Lending’ scheme has been extended by a further year focusing exclusively on smaller firms.
- Total welfare spending will be £1bn a year lower than forecast.
- 55% ‘Death Tax’ on pensions will be abolished and inherited ISAs will be kept tax free.