Mike Backhouse, director of taxation at Garbutt and Elliott chartered accountants of York said: "There were few surprises. It was either a repeat of policy changes already announced or matters which have been recently leaked.

"What he has done is try to support small businesses and encourage enterprise in particular. A series of measures on corporation tax, capital gains tax and VAT should all directly benefit small businesses which represent a large proportion of the economy in north and East Yorkshire. For example the first £10,000 of profits for small companies will be free of tax."

Another boon for our region, particularly York, said Mr Backhouse is the extension to larger companies of tax relief for research and development costs. "This is bound to be good news for many blooming bio-science and IT businesses in the city," he said.

He added that the major source of funding for increased health spending was through increased National Insurance charges on employers, employees and the self-employed.

"That's all of us. He's got us! The Chancellor claims that people on average earnings and with families will be better off because of increased child credits. But we'll have to see the small print to assess the validity of this and some of his other claims."

Mr Backhouse welcomed the fact that there were no increases in transport costs, whether in fuel or duty . "This must be of benefit to North Yorkshire's already hard-hit rural economy and could indirectly benefit tourism," he said.