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What can we expect from the Budget on Wednesday?
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has made it clear that he does not have room for big tax giveaways on March 15, as forecasts for economic growth are still weak. His focus will be to continue to clamp down on double digit inflation. An economic forecast from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) will be announced alongside the budget.
Mr Hunt has stated that he hopes to start the process of business tax cuts in his Autumn statement later this year, dependant on the OBR forecasts for the UK.
There are reports that the government will spend approximately £3bn to shield UK households from higher energy bills for the three months from April and that the freeze on fuel duty will continue.
With the war in Ukraine showing no signs of ending, we can also expect an increase in the Ministry of Defence budget over the next two years to buy equipment and weapons.
With government ministers struggling to reach a resolution of the series of public sector strikes, the chancellor has also made it clear that any additional money for pay deals should come from existing departmental budgets.
There is also speculation on a range of measures to incentivise employers to take on more employees and to encourage older workers back into employment, including a relaxation in pension contributions for the over 55’s. Some commentators expect an announcement on raising the state pension age.
Whatever announcements are made on Wednesday we will do the analysis and get you a summary later this week, so you are fully informed of any changes.