Today George Osborne will deliver his eighth budget since becoming Chancellor.
It has been four months since his last report into the state of the UK’s finances, and since then growth has dipped and tax receipts are lower. On top of all this is the looming “Brexit” referendum, to decide Britain’s future in the European Union.
What do we already know – and what can we expect – when George Osborne reveals his Budget later today?
What can we expect?
A rise in the personal allowance
The amount you can earn before paying tax is expected to rise by £300, say some analysts. The allowance currently stands at £10,600, which is due to rise to £11,000 on 6th April. The Government say it will reach £12,500 by 2020. The point at which high earners start to pay 40% tax is also expected to rise to £43,000.
Potential fuel duty & insurance premium tax rises
The Press Associaton has warned of the potential rises in both fuel duty and insurance premium tax as Mr Osborne tries to get the public finances back on track.
Help for the homeless
The Evening Standard has reported that there will be an allocation of £100m to go towards providing an extra 2,000 places of accomodation for those on the streets across the UK. It is also predicted a further £10m will go towards other projects aimed at the homeless over the course of the next two years.
Beer duty frozen
In a bid to keep more pubs open, it is expected George Osborne will freeze beer duty, as claimed by The Sun Newspaper. This could see pints costing 10p cheaper than 2013, according to the paper.
More cuts across the board
The Chancellor needs to find another £4 billion in “austerity” savings if he is to meet his own self-imposed target of clearing the defecit and balancing the books by the time of the next general election in 2020. Where these will come from is uncertain, but after warnings from Mr Osborne that he will be sticking to his “long-term economic plan”, we could see a variety of cuts.
What do we already know?
English schools into academy plans
The Chancellor has previously announed he has plans to turn every school in Enlgand into an academy by 2020.. There are also plans to include and end to the traditional 3pm finish. The plans have been blasted by teacers and unions as being “arrogant” and have accused the Government of “undoing 50 years of comprehensive public education at a stroke”.
£300m investment in the North of England and London
George Osbourne has given the go ahead to major developments in rail, housing and infrastructure in the north of England and London.
I will be reporting live on Twitter this lunchtime from 12.30pm as George Osboure reveals his full budget. Follow me @helloaccounts