Coalition readies final budget before May election

The coalition government presents its final budget Wednesday, with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne vowing to stick to his economic plan with “no gimmicks” before a knife-edge general election. Osborne, a key centre-right Conservative member of the coalition that includes the centrist Liberal Democrats, will deliver his sixth annual budget as opinion polls suggest a tight race against the opposition left-leaning Labour party. “This budget is all about securing a truly national recovery,” Osborne told the BBC over the weekend. Reports suggest the budget will contain perks for older voters — allowing pensioners to swap regular retirement incomes for cash lump sums.

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