Budget 2014: Get what you wanted from George Osborne?

19/03/14

James Shute (right) and Jamie Sampson

It's George Osborne's big day as the chancellor set out the government's annual budget.

It was his chance to give an update on the UK's finances and announce how he planned to raise and spend public money over the coming months.

Beer duty was cut by 1p a pint, duty on ordinary cider is frozen, the fuel duty rise planned for September will not happen and tobacco duty is to rise by 2% above inflation.

See what else was announced in the budget

This year's budget comes with the UK's economy showing strong growth and unemployment falling steadily, but Labour argues many people aren't feeling the recovery.

Newsbeat asked people on the Lancashire coast how George Osborne could help them out.

Cut business rates

Matthew Crewdson

Matthew Crewdson has just opened his second sweet shop in Cleveleys, a few miles up the coast from Blackpool.

He says he's fairly optimistic about the future.

"I think people have got money to spend, but everyone is still looking for a bargain," he says.

Since we opened we've had at least 100 CVs from young people who we'd love to employ, but we just can't afford it
Matthew Crewdson

"It's been nice and steady so far, but very weather dependent. We're just looking forward to summer."

Matthew's working seven days a week to staff the shop but says he'd be keen to recruit if business rates weren't so high.

"Since we opened we've had at least 100 CVs from young people who we'd love to employ, but we just can't afford it."

SOLUTION? Business rates are due to be reduced in April, but the government has faced calls to overhaul the whole system.

More help on housing

Suzanne Hardy (right) and her boss Madeleine Taylor
Image caption Suzanne (right) wants to move out of her parents' house but can't afford to

Suzanne Hardy is 25 and has worked in Madeleine Taylor's piercing studio and shop for six years.

She had to take a reduction in her hours when the minimum wage went up, as her boss couldn't afford to pay any more.

Most people my age now are living with parents. It's difficult
Suzanne Hardy

"I'm just grateful that I've got a job because most people can't find anything," says Suzanne, whose partner is out of work.

She lives at home and dreams of owning her own place.

"At my age, a lot of people in the past were able to get a mortgage for a house. But most people my age now are living with parents. It's difficult."

SOLUTION? The government has extended its Help to Buy scheme until 2020, despite fears it may push prices even higher. Labour says there should be more investment in new homes.

Cut fuel duty

James Shute (right) and Jamie Sampson

It's been frozen since 2011, but for some people it's still too high.

James Shute and Jamie Sampson, who are on holiday in Blackpool, say this is one of their biggest expenses, costing them around £40 a week to get to work in Devon.

SOLUTION? The government has already promised to freeze fuel duty until 2015. A cut had been possible but would have been expensive, and prices have fallen slightly in recent months.

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