Budget 2013: Osborne cuts growth forecast and taxes

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Chancellor George Osborne has cut his official growth forecast in half, but insisted the UK would avoid a "triple-dip" recession.

In the Budget statement on 20 March 2013, Mr Osborne said growth in 2013 would be 0.6% - half the 1.2% he predicted four months ago in his autumn statement.

But he cut the headline rate of corporation tax by 1 percentage point to 20%, which taken with earlier cuts he said was the biggest ever reduction.

Tax on beer will be cut, a 3p rise in fuel duty planned for September will be scrapped, and the earnings threshold at which people start paying income tax will rise to £10,000 by April 2014.

Mr Osborne said his Budget was for "those who want to work and get on" and that it was designed for the "aspiration nation".

Responding to the statement, opposition leader Ed Miliband said Mr Osborne was the "wrong man, in the wrong place at the worst possible time for the country".

"It's a downgraded Budget from a downgraded chancellor," he declared, in an echo of the late Labour leader John Smith.

Mr Miliband said of the chancellor: "Every Budget he comes to this House and things are worse, not better for this country.

"Compared to last year's Budget: growth last year down, growth this year down, growth next year down, growth in 2015 down.

"All he offers is more of the same: higher borrowing, lower growth... a more-of-the-same Budget."

He added: "Britain deserves better than this."

Budget: Key points at a glance

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