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Osborne to freeze air passenger tax

Chancellor George Osborne will use his Budget on Wednesday to trim the cost of holidays abroad by freezing air passenger duty.

The duty goes up automatically in line with inflation each November, but the Chancellor is expected to announce that there will be no rise this year.

At a cost to the Treasury of around £150 million a year, the measure could save a family of four around £4 on a trip to a European destination or as much as £36 on a long-haul flight to Australia.

At present, the duty adds £12 to the cost of an economy flight within Europe, £60 to the USA and £85 to Australia. Higher charges are applied to business and first-class tickets.

Mr Osborne vowed that there will be no more tax rises and no more spending cuts in this week's Budget, which will set out a package of measures to boost growth and jobs.

And he left no doubt that he will resist Labour calls to scale back the pace of deficit reduction, saying: "That's not going to happen."

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