Budget 2016: George Osborne announces sugar tax on soft drinks companies - as it happened

Chancellor signals new round of austerity measures

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The Independent Online

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Cuts to disability benefits and forcing schools to become academies are just some of the measures George Osborne has announced in his Budget.

A faltering stock market and slow economic growth are among the challenges the Chancellor has faced since the Autumn Statement in November.

Here are three groups of people that look set to lose out:

Those on disability benefits see their benefits payments reduced by £55 a week.

The decision by Ministers to remove the PIP – Personal Independence Payment – benefits from more than 600,000 disabled people over the next five years, saving around £1 billion a year, is expected to be used to cut tax for the middle-class.

Local-authority run schools will be forced to become academies by 2020, according to reports.

Academies have more powers over their own budgets, curriculum, the hiring of staff, term times, and the length of school day. But Ofsted figures analysed in 2010 showed that many academies were performing worse than other local-authority maintained schools.

Drinkers and smokers will face higher duties. Drink duties will rise with inflation. An above-inflation duty will be pushed through on cigarettes.