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UK unveils crunch budget, raises taxes

world Updated: Jun 23, 2010 00:46 IST

AP
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Britain’s Treasury chief George Osborne has announced the toughest cuts to public spending in decades and new tax rises in an emergency budget aimed at sharply reducing the country’s record debts.

The government is hitting consumers with a rise in the broad-based tax on sales and services from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent next year.

Osborne would impose a levy on banks to raise £2 billion a year, cut most government departments’ budgets by 25 per cent and even got an agreement from Queen Elizabeth II to accept a freeze on her support from taxpayers. Unusually, Osborne announced no increase in taxes on alcohol, tobacco and fuel, and he repealed a high tax on cider.