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New Budget measures at a glance

Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his 2012 Budget statement. Here are its major points:

The Office of Budget Responsibility expects the UK to avoid recession and is revising its growth forecast for this year up to 0.8%. Inflation is forecast to fall from 2.8% this year to 1.9% next year.

Unemployment is expected to peak at 8.7% this year.

Borrowing is forecast to fall from £126 billion this year - £11 billion less than forecast in the Autumn Statement - to £21 billion by 2016/17.

The cost of operations in Afghanistan will be £2.4 billion less than expected. An extra £100 million will be spent on armed forces accommodation.

The state pension age will be automatically reviewed to ensure it keeps up with growing longevity.

The headline rate of corporation tax is to be cut further from next month by one percentage point - to 24%. Future cuts to go ahead as planned.

There will be no change in alcohol duty but duty on all tobacco products will rise by 5% above inflation from 6pm - 37p on a packet of cigarettes. Vehicle excise duty to rise by rate of inflation. Duty frozen for road hauliers.

Top rate of tax to be reduced from 50p to 45p from April 2013. Changes to taxation mean the Treasury will receive "five times more money each and every year from the wealthiest in our society".

Personal tax allowances to rise by £1,100 from next April. Tax-free allowance to rise to £9,205, making 24 million people £220 a year better off.


From Belfast Telegraph