George Osborne set out his ambitions for Britain: that this country should have the most competitive tax system in the G20; be the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business; become a more balanced economy, and have a more educated and flexible workforce.
The key measures announced in the speech were:
- An extra 1% cut in corporation tax from April 2011, taking corporation tax from 28% to 26%
- Setting up 21 new Enterprise Zones with up to 100% business rate discount, new superfast broadband and the potential to use enhanced capital allowances for zones with a strong focus on manufacturing
- £2bn pounds extra for the Green Investment Bank, giving it £3bn of capital and enabling it to start operation in 2012
- 50,000 additional apprenticeships, bringing the total funded by this Government to 250,000 over the next four years
- A doubling of the University Technical Colleges programme to create at least 24 new colleges
- A new £250m shared equity scheme, First Buy, that in England will help 10,000 first time buyers get on the housing ladder for the first time
- Simplification of the tax system by consulting on options for integrating the operation of income tax and national insurance contributions and plans to scrap 43 tax reliefs
- Support for innovation and manufacturing with an additional £100m this year for new science facilities.
The Chancellor said: , "We want the words: 'Made in Britain, 'Created in Britain', 'Designed in Britain', 'Invented in Britain', to drive our nation forward. A Britain carried aloft by the march of the makers. That is how we will create jobs and support families. We have put fuel into the tank of the British economy."