Budget 2015: Round-up
He added “We are seeing a truly national recovery,” while he claimed the economy has grown faster in the North than the South in the last year.
Osborne said Britain could become “the most prosperous major economy in the world”, while he added that the UK has the potential to overtake Germany as the largest economy in Europe within 15 years.
He unveiled Help to Buy ISA for first-time buyers – an account where the government will top up buyers’ savings to help them save for a housing deposit.
The Chancellor also pledged to cut beer duty by 1p, whisky duty by 2p and cider duty by 2p.
Osborne said that the government has rewarded “the hard work and sacrifice of the British people” by reaching its national debt target set out in his very first Budget.
In the next year the Chancellor said the government will sell at least £9bn of the government’s Lloyds Banking Group shares; part of the legacy of the recession from when the taxpayer bailed out Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.
He made a number of projections, as he forecast unemployment to fall to 5.3% this year.
In terms of national debt Osborne said it will fall from £97.5bn in 2013-14 to £90.2bn in 2014-15, £75.3bn in 2015-6, £39.4bn in 2016-7, £12.8bn in 2017-8 before reaching a £5.2bn surplus in 2018-9.
Debt as a share of GDP will fall from 80.4% in 2014 to 80.2% in 2015-16, while it will then fall every year until reaching 71.6% in 2019-20.
Osborne said UK GDP will grow by 2.5% this year before increasing by 2.3% per year until 2019, when it will reach 2.4%.