The government’s remaining 30% stake in the Royal Mail is to be sold off to help pay down the deficit, George Osborne has said.
He said the shares would be sold when ministers could be sure they would get value for money.
The chancellor also announced £4.5bn in efficiency savings in the current financial year.
Labour accused Mr Osborne of “ripping up” his long term economic plan by springing the announcement on MPs.
The government is committed to clearing the deficit by 2018/19 without increasing income tax or VAT, something Mr Osborne said would not be “easy”.