U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has unveiled a £22 billion ($32 billion) sale of U.K. bank assets owned by the government.
The government is aiming to sell off £13 billion worth of mortgage assets it took over from Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, two U.K. lenders which collapsed during the credit crisis, and £9 billion worth of its stake in Lloyds Banking Group.
Osborne kicked off Wednesday’s Budget pledging to cut the deficit and warning of the danger of a Greek exit from the euro zone.
He also revealed more optimistic forecasts by the independent government forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, which now expects the U.K.’s gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 2.3 percent next year, up from the 2.2 percent forecast in December. However, these revisions are not as high as some economists had hoped for.
This Budget is particularly important as it is just seven weeks before the most difficult-to-call U.K. election for close-to a century.
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