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Budget ringfences NHS funding but caps pay

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NHS funding will 'continue to be protected' in 2013-14, chancellor George Osborne has confirmed.

Detailing his budget last month, he renewed his promise to exclude the health service from funding cuts. However, he extended the public sector pay freeze, stating rises would be capped at 1 per cent for 2013/14 and would remain at below inflation levels until at least 2016.

Other health-related announcements included plans to reduce the price of a pint of beer by 1p, ending the beer duty escalator that would have added 3p to a pint. A 2 per cent duty rise remained for wine and spirits.

Union Unite pledged to campaign for public sector workers to receive 'a substantial and fair uplift to their wages for the year 2014/15'.'

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