Budget 2011: Osborne to target growth
Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his Budget speech today at 1230 GMT, which will be aimed at boosting growth amid the fragile recovery.
Mr Osborne is describing it as a “budget for growth” despite the tough austerity measures which threaten to push Britain back into recession, according to some economists.
However, many believe the Chancellor will press ahead with his fiscal consolidation plans to bring the current budget deficit down.
Reports have suggested that Mr Osborne will announce tax breaks from April 2012 – increasing the amount people can earn before paying tax by around £600 to £8,000.
Furthermore, he is expected to unveil a scheme which will help 10,000 first-time buyers purchase new-build flats and houses, according to the BBC.
The buyer would have to fund 5% of the cost, while the Government and home builder would both put up 10%.
The measures come as first-time buyers continue to struggle to get a foot on the property ladder as without a substantial deposit, they are unable to secure a mortgage.
There is also speculation that the Government may delay the 1p rise in fuel duty – planned for next month.
The move comes as the price of petrol has surged to more than £1.30 a litre, due to concerns about the ongoing civil unrest in Libya and the Middle East.
In related news, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will today deliver its latest forecasts for British public borrowing and economic growth.
The independent OBR, which was set up by the coalition Government to assess the state of public finances, is expected to lower its 2011 economic growth forecast to 1.8% from its previous estimate of 2.1%.