UK presents government budget to halve inflation, boost growth



Britain's economy is set to avoid a recession in 2023 but will still contract this year, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said on Wednesday as he made a budget speech which included measures to speed up economic growth.

The gross domestic product (GDP) will fall by 0.2 percent on an annual basis over 2023 but has been revised up by 1.2 percentage points compared to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)'s November forecast, the budget said.

The OBR forecast that the consumer price index (CPI) will fall to 2.9 percent by the end of 2023 as the UK government aims to tame inflation.

Jeremy Hunt has ruled out a major spending spree or big tax cuts in his budget plan.

But he confirmed a three-month extension of energy bill subsidies for households and extended a decade-long fuel duty freeze.

Hunt said the government would add 11 billion pounds to the defense budget over the next five years.

Hunt also outlined the government's childcare and pension reform plan.

"To support the crucial role that foster parents play, from next year qualifying care givers will see their tax free allowance rise from £10,000 to £18,000," he said in his budget statement.