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George Osborne promised a “budget for business” and that was largely what he delivered. There was a lot in the Chancellor’s fifth budget to please the business community and, on first reading, few specific measures to cause alarm.

Osborne deserves credit for limiting himself to a fiscally neutral package, despite a strong uptick in growth. Even though the Office for Budget Responsibility raised its 2014 growth forecast to 2.7pc, up from 1.4pc at the time of last year’s budget, the Chancellor’s measures amounted to a tiny £0.5bn giveaway in 2014/15, and a small fiscal squeeze over the next 5 years as a whole.
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