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Government ‘must boost growth’ in forthcoming Budget

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has urged the Government to take action to boost UK growth, in next month’s Budget.

The call follows the publication of revised GDP figures for the fourth quarter of 2011 from the Office for National Statistics, which confirmed that GDP fell by 0.2% in the final quarter of the year.

David Kern, BCC Chief Economist, said, ‘Priorities must be reallocated within the overall spending envelope with greater emphasis on policies to boost growth’.

‘With total borrowing in the current financial year likely to be around £8bn below the OBR’s estimate in November, we believe that the Chancellor can increase spending in the Budget by some £4bn while still maintaining market credibility.’

Chancellor George Osborne has been coming under increasing pressure to cut taxes in the run-up to the Budget, and recently confirmed that he has been considering plans to raise the income tax personal allowance to £10,000.

However, Mr Osborne has insisted that he is not prepared to increase borrowing in order to fund any tax cuts or increases in spending.