MOTORISTS throughout Somerset have been given a break after Chancellor George Osborne announced a 1p per litre reduction in the cost of petrol in today's Budget.

The Chancellor also announced a raft of measures to help small businesses, including reducing Corporation Tax by 2% this year, with further drops in future years; £350million cuts to business regulation; making more credit available, and providing funding for apprenticeships and work placements.

He told the Commons the Budget would show the world “Britain is open for business”, although he was later criticised by Labour leader Ed Miliband for again revising the country's growth forecasts.

There will be no rise in alcohol duty but tobacco duty will rise by 2% above inflation.

There will also be extra support for people in the South-West struggling with high water bills.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists said the reduction in fuel duty was “a welcome break for hard-pressed motorists and businesses”, while Rupert Cox, Somerset Chamber of Commerce chief executive, agreed it was a “positive step”.

He added: “The Chancellor has simplified the tax system and he has listened to what the business community has said about business regulation.

“The recognition that water bills in the South-West are high and the promise of public funding to reduce them will be welcomed by everybody, particularly manufacturing businesses who use a lot of water and livestock farmers.

“From a business point of view it's a fairly positive Budget, though as ever, the devil will be in the detail.”

Follow the latest Budget reaction thanks to our blog by experts from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the global body for professional accountants.

The Treasury also provided a Twitter feed to keep readers up-to-date.