Autumn Statement: Chancellor outlines broadband and business investment plans

He also outlined a series of initiatives to help give Britain a competitive edge and prevent it being "out-smarted, out-worked and out-competed" by emerging economies.

These include the creation of a new Business Bank, which Osborne claimed would provide 1 billion worth of private lending support to SMBs.

Everything we do is supporting people who want to work hard and get on.

He also pledged greater financial support for the Regional Growth Fund and Local Enteprise Partnership scheme. Further details about the latter will be announced during the next Government Spending Review, he promised.

"We are also taking big steps today to support British companies who export to new emerging markets in Asia, Africa and the Americas," he added.

"I am increasing the funding for UK Trade and Investment by over 25 per cent a year, so it can help more firms...and maintain our country's position as the number one destination in Europe for foreign investment."

As part of this, he announced the launch of a new 1.5 billion export finance scheme that will support the purchase of British exports.

Furthermore, he confirmed that a planned 3 pence tax rise in petrol costs had been scrapped.

"The public know there are no miracle cures....The deficit and borrowing is down. Jobs are being created. Everything we do [is] supporting people who want to work hard and get on," he concluded.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.