Lex: UK budget

George Osborne, presenting his first Budget as chancellor on Tuesday, unveiled plans to slash spending and raise taxes – including a rise in value added tax from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent – in order to bring down the UK’s vast deficit and set the country back on the path to sound public finances. Among the biggest casualties is spending by government departments, which, other than the protected National Health Service and overseas aid budgets, will be cut by 25 per cent in an “unavoidable” Budget. Luke Templeman analyses what it means for taxpayers and investors.