We at Coffee House have compiled a list of Budget rumours and predictions that have been in the newspapers over the last few of days. The round-up below should give you a good idea of what to expect tomorrow:
• £1billion rescue plan for housing market
• £1billion housing plan will include a fund to reverse the trend of 30 years and build thousands of council houses, with intervention to rescue housing developments that have not got ahead or have been left unfinished.
• The Chancellor will say that the Treasury is ready to go into partnership with private companies to ensure that developments proceed.
• Whitehall will buy houses on some estates to turn them into social housing or shared equity schemes.
• Freeze on stamp duty on properties up to £175,000 to be extended until December.• Up to 40,000 homeowners who have lost their jobs or had a sudden loss of income are expected to be helped under the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme to be launched today.
Reported by: The Times, The Guardian, The FT, The Sun, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.
• “£50m to build heroes’ homes”
Alistair Darling will spend £50million on building new MoD houses or sprucing up existing ones. The move will mean better accommodation for at least 600 British servicemen and women and their families. The Chancellor has decided to bring forward planned expenditure by at least two years so building work can start by the end of the year.
Reported by: The Sun.
• £500million green stimulus to the economy
• Tens of millions will go towards promoting the building of wind farms off Britain’s coastline.
• £40million to top up and keep open a grants programme for renewable-energy technologies.
• “Scrappage scheme” – to give motorists up to £2000 to buy a new car
• £300million for existing and new council homes to be better insulated – to cut families’ heating bills by an average of £120 a year.
• £200million to push the growth of wind turbines, hydro electric power and other renewable energy technologies.
• Biofuel firms will get a share of £500 million for low carbon companies.
Reported by: The Guardian, The Times and The Sun.
• £2billion for back-to-work schemes to help jobless.
• More benefits staff. Under 25s unemployed for more than a year will be guaranteed a job, work experience or training.
• Thousands of state jobs to go as Darling slashes £10billion off public spending.
• Armies of civil servants will not be replaced when they leave.
• In future, anyone hired from the private sector will have to face a pay reduction.
• Other measures expected include ‘value for money’ audits on public sector bodies, which could include curbs on town hall fat cats.
Reported by the Daily Mail, The Sun and The Times.
• Plans remain to raise the price of a pint of beer.
• A hike of two per cent on top of inflation for the next four years has been predicted, which would add 4p to the price of a pint.
Reported by the Daily Mail.
• Millions of pounds in incentives are to be offered to oil companies to increase North Sea production by 20 per cent over the next five years.
• Darling is said to be keen to help extract up to two billion barrels of oil, worth more than $100 billion (£67.6billion), with the extra revenue generated helping to pay off the Government’s debts.
Reported by The Daily Telegraph and The Times.
• Pensions could be targeted in a multi-billion pound raid with predictions that the Chancellor could scrap higher-rate income tax relief on pension contributions.
Reported by the Daily Mail.