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UK to target smaller budget surplus in 2019/20: Osborne

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Britain is aiming for a lower budget surplus by the end of the decade than it was just a few months ago, according to forecasts announced by finance minister George Osborne on Wednesday.

[LONDON] Britain is aiming for a lower budget surplus by the end of the decade than it was just a few months ago, according to forecasts announced by finance minister George Osborne on Wednesday.

Mr Osborne, delivering an annual budget statement, said the surplus was projected to stand at 0.3 per cent of gross domestic product in the 2019/20 financial year.

In similar official forecasts made in December, the surplus in 2019/20 was projected to reach one per cent of GDP.

Britain's independent budget forecasters said at the time that to reach that target, public spending would need to fall to its lowest share of GDP since the 1930s.

Since then, the opposition Labour Party has used that observation to back up its criticisms of Mr Osborne for pursuing an austerity programme that is too harsh.

REUTERS

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