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UK Budget 2014: Key facts, more scholarships… and a new £1 coin
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Chancellor sets out how the UK is taking further action to build a resilient economy, driven by investment and exports - as well as increased scholarships for students from developing countries
George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered the 2014 Budget on 19th March.
On economic growth, the UK economy is now growing faster than predicted and expectations for growth this year and next have also been revised up by the Office for Budget Responsibilty (OBR) – to 2.7% in 2014 and 2.3% in 2015. Although consumer spending has until recently been the biggest driver of growth the latest data suggest business investment is also now recovering and the OBR has revised up their forecast for investment growth significantly for 2014.
A record number of people are in work and the OBR now expects employment to reach 31.4 million by 2018. A deficit that reached 11% of GDP in 2009-10 is now forecast to fallen by half to 5.5% in the coming year and will be eradicated by 2018-19.
The Chancellor announced a series of measures, including details on how the UK government will:
- deliver economic stability and sound public finances, including through tackling tax avoidance
- help businesses to grow
- help savers at every stage of their lives
- support families and communities
Increased Chevening Scholarships
As part of the Budget, the Chancellor announced that the number of Chevening Scholarships for students from developing countries will be tripled in the 2015-16 academic year, through an additional £27.9m of Official Development Assistance (ODA) money. This will allow the UK to strengthen our medium and long term prosperity and security objectives as we create positive and lasting relationships with future leaders. Details of the number of scholarships available in Burma will be announced in due course.
Boosting trade & investment
The Budget also announced increased funding for UKTI’s Global Entrepreneurs Programme and an expansion of the support for export promotion and inward investment in the financial services sector, including by:
- doubling the annual investment allowance to £500,000 until the end of 2015
- offering the best export finance in Europe
- reducing energy costs, to ensure that the UK remains a competitive location for manufacturing
New £1 coin
The UK government will introduce a new and highly secure £1 coin. The proposed new coin is bi-metallic with 12 sides, and adopts new Royal Mint technology to protect against counterfeiting. The government plans to introduce the new coin in 2017 and there will be a competition to decide the design on the reverse or ‘tails’ of the new coin.
View the 2014 Budget document in full on the HMT website
The full Office for Budget Responsibility report, setting out the central forecasts, can be found here
On 18 March the Bank of England yesterday launched its new strategic plan. The Bank’s press release can be found here and key announcements include the creation of a new Deputy Governor responsible for Markets & Banking and a new International Directorate within the Bank to improve monitoring of global markets.
More on Chevening Scholarships
More on UKTI’s Burma-related work